holiday

All posts tagged holiday

Christmas Eve 2013

Published December 26, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Photo stolen from Helen of Vegtastic.net!

Photo stolen from Helen of Vegtastic.net!

Hello! I hope you had a merry little Christmas! We sure did over here at the Mendez/Mitchell/Pitlick Christmas Eve party. We combined forces and had a “family” gathering made up of three houses. Sadly I don’t have any family here (for now?! I’m still hoping they’ll move!), but Thomas and Helen were both able to convince their siblings to move to Seattle this year, so we did have a collection of family members present.

It was nice to have some extra help cooking for this one, with Helen making a wonderful kale and brussel sprout salad, a fennel, parsnip and yam gratin, and Carl baked up an apple pie. I made Field Roast celebration loaves, my herb stuffing, and mashed potatoes with caramelized onions and roasted garlic. I also made peppermint crunch oreo cupcakes by Lyndsey’s request.

It had been a pretty long time since I’d made any cupcakes, and proof of that was the fact that I completely forgot to buy powdered sugar!

DIY powdered sugar

DIY powdered sugar

I followed Isa’s advice from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (my cupcake guru), and put granulated sugar into the food processor with 1 tsp. cornstarch per cup. It did make a lot of it powdery, but definitely not all. I could’ve tried the vitamix at this point, but I honestly didn’t want to dirty something else. (I was already doing a juggling act to have enough counter space!) But it ended up working out since I was using pulverized Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe-Joes in the frosting, so you couldn’t really tell. It was also really nice to break out my Kitchen-Aid mixer for the 1st time in a long time. Priscilla did double duty on cupcakes and mashed potatoes!

Hooray!

Hooray!

The rest of our night was really fun, and I even got to dance a little salsa after dinner. Which for Cuban me, makes it a real Christmas Eve party! 😉

Ready to dance!

Ready to dance!

Hope you had a wonderful time with your friends & family!

Winter Holiday Wrap-up: Holiday Feasting & A kitten!

Published January 2, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Thanksgiving Dinner 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner 2012

My holiday cooking this year was a little atypical. Being that we spent Thanksgiving Day driving through Texas, eating seitan sandwiches from Austin’s Counter Culture (delicious!) in a gas station parking lot (above!), I went ahead and made us a nice spread a random day in December.

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Starting in the top left you’ll see my Maple Glazed Brussel Sprouts w/Apples & Onions, and some store bought cranberry sauce. Bottom row is my Perfect Pumpkin Pie, a tasty casserole from the Veganomicon, Carmelized Onion and Butternut Squash Roast with Chestnuts, and my perfected Cornbread recipe.

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Hello, gorgeous. You can see all the wonderful casserole here up front. Butternut squash, white beans, and chestnuts combine with caramelized onions and breadcrumbs and sage to give you that taste of stuffing, with a bunch of extra goodness thrown in.

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I’ve always read that it’s better to grind your own flax seed, but I felt just fine about buying it pre-ground and keeping it in the fridge in a glass jar. However, Thomas could only find the whole seed at Trader Joe’s.

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No matter, I scooped out the amount I needed and put it in the vita-mix for a few seconds. Worked like a charm.

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I was ecstatic about this cornbread using my new, super secret (not really) ingredient. And I updated my previous recipe accordingly. Just the perfect combination of salty and sweet, with a nice texture and no added oil.

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Christmas Eve wasn’t all that far away from my impromptu meal, so some of these items were repurposed, including the cranberry sauce, and the very little that was left of the casserole and brussel sprouts.

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But I also made some sweet potato mash and baked up a field roast celebration loaf with some onions and green beans. The field roast was incredible, and we enjoyed eating the leftover slices cold, right out of the fridge.

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For the mash, I simply baked the potatoes during the prep and baking of my other dishes. (1.25 hours) Once cooked through I mashed them with a bit of butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt & pepper.

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I hope you all had a safe and happy winter holiday season! It was a bit sad to be away from everyone we love this year, so I’m actually pretty glad it’s all over. Hopefully next year I’ll be able to travel home for one of the holidays. The bright side was between Christmas and the New Year, we added another member to our family.

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This is Midna, our 16 week old sphynx kitten! She’s the sweetest little baby, and she is slowly but surely starting to put up with Ganon. He came on a little strong on day one, so she’s been hissing and growling at him a whole lot over the last week, but I was super excited last night when they managed to share a blanket together in peace. Today they were running all over the house playing.

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Ganon’s only 2 months older, but he’s about 3 times the size of Midna right now, but she’s proven that she can hold her own! She is one of the sweetest kittens I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing mommy to.

midna

Maple Glazed Brussel Sprouts with Apples and Onions

Published December 18, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

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Now, I’ve made roasted brussel sprouts before, but I recently had some at Mohawk Bend in L.A. that left me wanting to experiment. They do theirs with maple syrup, apples, and almonds, but I decided to try apples and onions in a maple dijon glaze here. The dijon is pretty subtle, but not integral to the dish, so I’d say it’s safe to leave it out if you’re not into mustard.

Maple Glazed Brussel Sprouts with Apples and Onions

2 lbs of brussel sprouts, ends trimmed, loose leaves removed, and cut in halves
olive oil
salt & pepper

1 large apple, chopped small
~1/2 large onion, chopped

3 tbsp. real maple syrup
1 scant tbsp. dijon mustard
1.5 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 450*F. Mist a large oven proof baking dish (preferably something heavy, like cast-iron) with olive oil and add prepared brussel sprouts. Mist with a little more olive oil and toss with a bit of fresh ground salt & pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway, or every 10 minutes.

2. Mist a large skillet with olive oil, and heat to low-medium. Cook apples and onions until the onions are translucent, about 7-10 minutes.

3. Whisk together maple syrup, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar and a little bit of salt & pepper.

4. Pull brussel sprouts out of the oven, and reduce heat to 375*F. Carefully mix in apples and onions, and drizzle with glaze. Return dish to oven to bake for and additional 10 minutes. Broil on high for 3-5 minutes until there are brussel leaves that look charred and crispy.

Unfortunately, the prep was not all smooth sailing…

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I’m still getting to know my Seattle kitchen appliances, and it appears that I overloaded the garbage disposal with brussel sprout ends. Fortunately, Thomas came to my rescue…

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In no time he had found the offending clogged pipe and cleared the problem. It was mostly brussel sprouts and some onion skins. Oops!

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Here are the trouble makers all pretty and ready to head into the oven.

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And here they are all nicely roasted and glazed! 🙂

Reheating was pretty much the same as the last part… 10 minutes at 375*F, and 5 minutes under the broiler on high to crisp them back up! Enjoy!!

Sweet Potato Casserole (Vegan)

Published December 25, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

This recipe came out awesome. I wrote it yesterday and took it up to Thomas’ mom’s for Christmas Eve. Unfortunately with all the rushing and driving around, I forgot to take a finished picture but it was totally delicious and I will definitely be making this again!

Merry Christmas!

Sweet Potato Casserole (Vegan)

4 large yams or sweet potatoes (I used garnet yams)

1/3 c. sugar
flax mixture (1 tbsp. ground flax seed + 3 tbsp. hot water, whisked)
2/3 tsp. salt
fresh ground pepper
4 tbsp. vegan butter, softened
1/2 c. non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk here)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp.  nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
2-3 tbsp. cold vegan butter
1/2 c. chopped pecans

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400*F and prepare a cookie sheet. Scrub sweet potatoes and stab all over with a fork. Bake for 60 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool and drop oven temp to 350*F. Once cooled, you can scoop out the flesh. Alternatively you could peel, cube, and steam or boil until potatoes are tender.

2. In a large bowl, mix together sweet potatoes, sugar, flax mixture, salt, butter, milk and vanilla until smooth. Transfer to a deep 8×8″ baking dish.

3. In medium bowl, mix brown sugar and flour. Cut butter in until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture. Bake for 40 minutes; crumb topping should be golden.

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