One of the reasons I love to cook and bake is because I can share what I’ve made with people. If you are in a similar dietary situation to me, you’ve probably come across the same endless questions and comments from people, like “What DO you eat?,” “Not being able to eat xx must be so difficult,” “I wouldn’t be able to live without xx, I couldn’t do what you do.” I’ve found the best way to respond to these situations is with delicious food (in addition to keeping a blog to showcase what it is exactly that I eat). Also, often being the only gluten-free and vegan person in the room means that if you want to eat something, you will have to bring it yourself. The holiday season brings with it many events centred around food, and for me that means making lots and lots of food. I absolutely love it, although there are times when I wish I could show up to an event and not have to worry about what food is going to be there and whether or not I can eat it.
I hosted a holiday party in December, and kind of forgot to blog about it until now!
This picture shows most of what I made for that party, although there were a few dips and snacks that wouldn’t fit on this table (tomatillo salsa, anyone?). In the top left, I’ve got some caramel corn, from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. I love Colleen’s recipes, and this was the best vegan baking book I ever had before going gluten-free. Unfortunately, most recipes are not gluten-free, but if you are not gluten-free, I can’t recommend this book enough! Beside the popcorn are mini cupcakes. I used the gluten-free vanilla cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I filled them with raspberry jam and topped them with a butter cream icing. Under the cupcakes, I sliced up some Aidan’s gluten-free baguette and toasted it in the oven. Beside that, I made some white bean and artichoke dip from Dreena Burton’s Let Them Eat Vegan! On the right side of the table, I have some chips, crackers (including Mary’s) and hummus, topped with Sriracha.
At the center of the table is the item I was most proud of: vegan cheese! I mentioned a while ago that I had picked up a copy of Artisan Vegan Cheese, an amazing new book full of vegan cheese recipes. It wasn’t until recently that I got the chance to try out the recipes. Many of the recipes involve quite a bit of planning as the recipes may take several weeks from start to finish. Most of this time does not actually involve doing anything, so they are not too difficult. I decided to make camembert, gouda and a soft chevre, rolled in cilantro and pepper. They were so amazing and I can’t wait to make more!
Another party I went to was a Superbowl party. My friends and I have an annual tradition of making large amounts of food and watching the game together. This year, I made some buffalo tofu wings, which I usually only save for making on this day, mostly due to the frying, then cooking in hot sauce and vegan butter….. Here is a recipe that is pretty similar to what I do. I made two blocks of tofu into wings, and they were all gone by the end of the game.
I also wanted to make something more sweet, so I jumped on the cookie dough hummus bandwagon. I didn’t think it could possibly be as good as the internet was telling me, but I tried it out anyway. I tried Chocolate-Covered Katie’s Cookie Dough Dip recipe, and for dipping, I made Allyson Kramer’s Graham Cracker recipe. Unfortunately, I don’t think cookie dough dip is for me. I added the full amount of sugar and I still felt like it needed to be sweeter. I first attempted the graham cracker recipe, forgetting to include the xantham gum. Let’s just say I now know that the recipe needs the gum for it to work. My second batch with the gum turned out pretty tasty, although my crackers were somewhere in between crackers and gingerbread cookies. I had some cookie dough dip left over, so I made it into cookies. I baked them at about 350 for 15 minutes. I think I prefer my cookie dough this way. However, there are many glowing reviews for the dip recipe, so I might be in the minority on this one. If you are intrigued to try it yourself, I say go for it!