Monday, April 19, 2010
Okay, smarty, go to a party.
This post is going to be the recipe equivalent of one of those Simpsons clip shows where they parlay a whole bunch of favourite moments into a brand new episode. Except more useful and less likely to make you want to turn it off half way through. I promise.
This weekend the Man of Science and I hosted a games night at our place, which turned out to be a smashing success. We invited a bunch of friends over, set up extra tables, stocked up on snacks and booze, and let the night unfold accordingly. Predictably, there ended up being equal parts game-playing and standing-in-the-kitchen-eating-and-chatting, but that didn't bother me at all. Especially since I'd summoned my inner Martha Stewart and made a whole bunch of delicious food to share in between rounds of Scrabble, XBox Tetris, and some game about zombies that took three hours to play.
For a hearty, savory snack I made two baguettes worth of vegan BLTs with my beloved tofu bacon. These went fast when our guests arrived. I marinated the tofu for most of the day, then detoured from the original recipe and baked it in the oven (at 350 degrees) for twenty minutes instead of pan frying. I cut the baguettes into two chunks to make them more manageable, then cut each chunk in half lengthwise, slathered it with vegan mayo and piled on the tofu bacon, lettuce, and tomato. I'm glad I ate one before the guests arrived, otherwise I think I would have been out of luck.
I tried to make snacks that people could munch on while talking and playing games, like these blue corn chips (Que Pasa Organic brand) and homemade salsa. I made the salsa following this recipe, but with red tomatoes instead of green. I knew we'd have a few guests who would want both gluten free and healthy low-ish calorie snacks, and this fit the bill.
Another healthy party snack was the classic black bean and artichoke dip with raw vegetables. We went through a lot of this as well. That dip never fails. What better way is there to make raw vegetables even more attractive?
And then, for The Not Healthy At All Grand Finale, my first attempt at fondant. I always see fancy cake decorating supplies at the bulk food store and I leaped at the excuse to make a cool cake for our party. I used my favourite chocolate cake recipe for the cake itself, iced it with my usual melted chocolate chip icing, and then worked hard to make it look like a checkerboard. And who knew that vanilla Oreos were vegan? Perhaps the chocolate ones are too, but I wouldn't know because the chocolate cookies I got were a knock-off brand with the unfortunate moniker "Mr. Creamy".
Also a hit at dessert was my raw, vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, cheesecake-ish dessert. Just try selling that to people who wouldn't normally eat something of this ilk. However, it was a big hit once people started trying it. My friend Spencer said, "I totally wasn't going to try that, but then you started describing what was in it and I thought, all those things are good, they must be excellent when combined!" Alas, I forgot to take a picture of it before it all got eaten. Bummer. However, it looked just like my vegan cheesecake bites, but in round, cake-like form, with pretty dots of cashew whipped cream dotting its circumference. Because I'm fancy.
I had such a fun night, and I think everyone else did as well. Perhaps this will become a regular thing, though I think the fondant will be reserved for special occasions.