Thursday, October 29, 2009

VeganMoFo Day Twenty-Nine: Gettin' (pot)lucky.

I know it. I've been teasing you about this potluck thing for DAYS. You've almost lost patience with me. Make with the pictures already! Give up some recipes, damnit!

You want pictures? Oh, I got some pictures. I got your pictures right here.

For real though. Right here. You're looking at one. There's more as soon as you scroll down (while reading, of course). Ready? Here we go.

You've already gotten a brief introduction to the delectable delights upon which we dined on that very special (rainy) Tuesday eve. But oh, you really don't know the half of it. Not until you see! Behold.

We started off the night right thanks to Quarantined's friend J, who provided us with artisan quality almonds in oil and fancy olives - deluxe finger foods, to be sure. As various casserole dishes of deliciousness heated in the oven, we sampled these delicacies, and engaged in delightful smalltalk... and drank beer, as all civilized and cultured people do.

Quarantined brought this lovely creamy chickpea and tahini casserole. For those of us that love those funky little peas and live for all things that emerge from baking dishes, this was quite a lovely dish. It was actually my sister, a wacky and not at all vegan gal, who made me understand the glory of the chick pea. I later learned from my local Halal food cart that chickpeas and rice really do go together! Sources say that Miss Q was working from this recipe, just in case you feel like trying some out for yourself. (You probably should, don't you think?)

Seitan Said Dance brought this fabulous quinoa dish - a recipe from the upcoming Vegan Latina by Terry Hope Romero. I am a big, big fan of quinoa. I lived so much of my life not knowing there were other grains out there, and quinoa is so unique that it still totally blows my mind. Miss Seitan was talking about how it was much too spicy for her to eat, and as I too am a giant spice wuss I was a tad worried. But that of course didn't keep me from dropping a big ol' spoonful on my plate. And I'm totally happy that I did! The grain seemed to absorb a dose of the spice while it waited for us to dine, and by the time we were ready for it, it was ready for us and just right. And not just spicy - crazy flavorful!

Alf-redo showed up with two, count them TWO!, kinds of stuffed pepper. Apparently Food Not Bombs hit the bell pepper jackpot this week, and Miss Alf decided to get creative. Fine by me - I was raised on stuffed peppers! Of course, my mom stuffs them with ground beef - not exactly up my alley any more. (R.I.P., little cow friends. :{ )The breadcrumbs, seitan, and chickpea mix in these peppers were much more to my liking. Some of these got left behind... did I totally have some for dinner Wednesday night? Well yes, yes I did.

And then we come to Sashi's baked mac and cheeze. This just may have stolen the show - at least for me, a macaroni-and-noodle freak. Did I have seconds? Yes. Did I have thirds? Well, um... Hey! Look over there! Is that a penguin?! Oh, sorry, must have been a trick of the eyes. What were we talking about? Totally forgot, better move on. So, perhaps me and Jonathan really are soulmates; today he was lamenting the fact that we hadn't kept a little extra around for today's lunch... and dinner! Fortunately, Sashi too shared the recipe, so we can all recreate this noodley joy.

And what about my stuffed shells? Oh yes, those. Well, I'd never done shells before; this was actually a modification of the lasagna I've been making for a couple of years. It's pretty simple - an herbed tofu ricotta whipped up in the food processor, some good tomato sauce, and then what you do with the pasta part and the baking-ness is pretty much up to you. I've done mini-lasagnas before, in tiny five inch baking dishes - that was kind of awesome and fun. I did make my own tomato sauce this time - I do that sometimes - which came out pretty well. Anyway, I can't judge, but I thought it was pretty tasty, and my guests were kind enough to agree. :)

Was there dessert? Uh, yeah! If you know anything about my house you know that sugar is of primary concern. (More than it should be? Well, that's a different conversation.) I baked cupcakes - stared out with Terry and Isa's recipe for golden vanilla cupcakes (oil variation), and for the extracts used half a teaspoon of lemon (a.k.a. what was left in the bottle) and 1.5 teaspoons of orange extract, along with the one teaspoon of vanilla that I put in everything sweet that I bake. (Unless I'm using way more than one teaspoon of vanilla, that is.) Lo and behold, to my surprise, what happened? Creamsicle cupcake! Given the delicate flavor of these cakelets, I ditched my original plan of a full on chocolate icing and instead did my standard "butter"cream" flavored with chocolate and vanilla extracts. Was it absolutely everything I'd wished for? Well, no. But they got pretty good reviews.

Then along comes Alf-redo with these super amazing, texturally supreme "pepita pistachio cranberry oatmeal" cookies! Pepita, in case you didn't know, is the small seed of a pumpkin or other squash. (Yeah, I googled it. What of it?!) Good thing I was already stuffed on real dinner food, or I would have gone into total sugar overload. Good thing I snagged some of these cookies for today, because I would have been sad not to get a second taste!

So as you can see, if you weren't here you missed a totally awesome feast. Come out next time wouldja? The more the merrier, so long as we don't piss off my 80 year old landlady.

Recipes forthcoming for stuffed shells, I promise! Clearly, I make good on my promises... eventually. :)


Seitan Said Dance said...

What a great evening. Your stuffed shells were delicious. I really hope you post your sauce recipe, because it was great. I keep saying this, but EVERYTHING was great. Even this post. Thanks for hosting, and for the thorough recap!

Emily said...

I'm still thinking about those cupcakes! Everything was delicious and you guys were great hosts, here's to more potlucks and meetups in the future.

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Sweet deliciousness! You should totally throw me a potluck. Yum!