Monday, December 3, 2012

Some Recent Eats

Hello friends. I hope you all had a lovely, turkey-free Thanksgiving. My oven decided to break the night before the holiday, when I was making the Maple Pecan Pie from Vegan Pie in the Sky, so I was forced to do all my cooking in my toaster oven. So, that was fun. Actually, it wasn't that bad, only because I discovered that I can fit an entire pie pan in my toaster oven, and also because I was only cooking a few dishes to eat with some friends of ours, instead of cooking an entire feast for 12 people or something like that. The Maple Pecan Pie was delicious, but sadly I forgot to take a picture of it. I did take a picture of our Turkey-less Roast that we got from Trader Joe's this year, which had stuffing on the inside and came with its own savory vegan gravy:

I roasted some baby potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, onions, and celery mixed with some rosemary, thyme, and sage, and served them around the roast. It was devoured by all with almost no leftovers. My absolute favorite is still the Field Roast Stuffed Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute, but this one was good too. We didn't even do a stuffing this year, which is a crime, but we were keeping it kind of low key. It's hard to do a bunch of cooking when you are only a few people eating and you have an active one year old in the kitchen with you.

We did have time for cocktails though. This lovely concoction made by a friend of mine had grapefruit juice, gin, and (I think) elderflower liqueur. I generally don't even like grapefruit juice but these drinks were divine.

 We didn't have much in the way of leftovers this year, which is another Thanksgiving crime I committed, but we did have some extra Brussels sprouts, potatoes, and gravy. I was still craving home-style comfort food so I made the Tempeh Loaf recipe from the Spork-Fed cookbook. The main ingredients are tempeh and beets, which give the "meatloaf" a bright red hue (like these beet burgers) that looks somewhat disturbingly like raw red meat. The flavors in this loaf were absolutely delicious, but it was a bit mushy for my liking. I will experiment with this recipe to see if I can make it with a firmer texture. Also, the recipe in the book instructs you to "frost" the loaf with the mashed potatoes, but I just served them on the side to maximize their gravy holding capacity.

Like I said, I neglected to photograph my Maple Pecan Pie, but I had some extra pecans and a lingering craving for pumpkin baked goods, so I made this Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Crunch topping, which is also from the Vegan Pie in the Sky book. It is outrageously, unbelievably good. Like, one of the best cheesecakes I've ever had kind of good. I love this recipe and lucky for you and everyone else, it is available here on the PPK site. Try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting.

The end of November is really busy in the Two Moons household. Not only is there Thanksgiving, but our baby celebrated his very first birthday (hooray!), and I had a birthday as well. We ordered a lemon cake with cream cheese frosting this year from one of my favorite places, Blossom, and it was wonderful. 

One last thing I have to share with you is another recipe I recently tried, the Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese from Oh She Glows. Except that I made it with pumpkin instead of butternut squash. It was rich and creamy, hearty, and lick-smackingly good. The sauce (especially if you use canned squash or pumpkin instead of roasting it) is nearly instant. It's so good and so easy to make. It's gotten rave reviews all over the internet and now I can add my stamp of approval too.

I still haven't gotten my fill of pumpkin yet and I have pumpkin baked goods as well as holiday cookies on the brain. Stay on the lookout for some holiday baking posts in the near future!

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