Fun Foods for Festivities | VeganMoFo 2017 Day Twenty-Four

VeganMoFo 2017

Week Four: Entertaining
Party! Canapés, finger foods, something to share.

Guess what? We already have our annual winter holiday party scheduled. People’s calendars fill up fast come December, so we decided to send out the evites nice and early this year. I’ve also started thinking about the menu. Typically we like to set out a massive spread of savories, sweeties, and lots of drinks, and I doubt we’ll stray from that formula this year. But I am toying with the idea of a more themed menu — like, maybe I’ll feature recipes from different countries. We’ll see. In the meantime, here’s a slightly blurry shot of last year’s spread — with bonus Moria butt under the table. This was our first holiday party in the new house!

Holiday party 2016

Here’s a tentative list of what we’ll prepare for our lucky guests, heavily inspired by last year’s menu.

  • Savories:
    • Homemade vegan cheeses
      • One of Maple Spice’s almond-based cheeses — you can’t go wrong with these!
      • A nut-free cheese ball from Vegan Richa; this one is particularly yummy
      • A third cheese, probably one of Miyoko’s
    • Crackers!
    • Hot caramelized onion-bacon dip — we are pretty much contractually obligated to serve a double batch of this dip at every party.
    • Sliced baguettes for dippin’
    • Veggie crudités, also for dippin’
    • One more dip, perhaps a mushroom pâté
    • One or two more little nibbles. Last year I made lasagna bites and Steven made sausage rolls, so we’ll do something along those lines again.
  • Sweeties:
    • Maple fudge
    • A couple batches of cookies. Duh. I think I’d like to bring back Isa’s Mexican hot chocolate snickerdoodles; I haven’t made these in ages and they’re so good.
    • Candied nuts, ‘cuz they’re good for easy snackin’.
    • Some kind of cake, or maybe gingerbread?
  • Sippables:
    • Mulled wine
    • Assorted beer, wine, and hard liquor
    • Various mixers (cranberry juice, apple cider)
    • At least one cocktail — maybe something featuring aquafaba, because I’m digging it in flips and fizzes lately.

If you have any recommendations, share away! And if this post seems familiar, you’re right — I posted a similar one last year during MoFo. :) You’re all invited to this year’s party!

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Holiday Baking and Cooking Plans

VeganMoFo 2016 graphic

Week Five: Holidays!

Today’s prompt is so appropriate for me: “Holiday Bake Day! – What are you planning on baking over the winter holidays? Do you make cake, or cookies? Or something savory?”

ALL OF THE ABOVE!

No, seriously. I LOVE the holiday season! And I love holiday baking and entertaining. Steven and I are hosting a holiday party in a few weeks — the first party in our new house — and you better believe I’ve already started planning the menu. Since we’ll have 20+ guests, we won’t serve dinner, but we’ll whip up a boatload of snacks and drinks to keep everyone happy. That’s what we did last year — check out the spread at our 2015 holiday party.

 

Holiday party spread 2015

Last year’s menu was such a success that I probably won’t change it too much this year. Here’s a rough outline, along with my notes:

  • Savories:
    • Homemade vegan cheeses
    • Crackers, some store-bought and some homemade because I like to make things more complicated than necessary
    • Hot caramelized onion-bacon dip — a perennial favorite; I think our guests would boycott the party if we didn’t serve it.
    • Sliced baguettes (store-bought)
    • Veggie crudités
    • A couple other dips — mushroom pâté? olive tapenade? a classic hummus?
  • Sweets:
    • Regular fudge
    • Maple fudge (insert heart-eyes emoji here)
    • Gingerbread cookies? Or regular gingerbread, and sugar cookies instead?
    • Candied nuts
    • Something else — pie? cake? cupcakes? Probably a cake.
  • Sippables:
    • Mulled wine
    • Assorted beer, wine, and hard liquor
    • Various mixers (cranberry juice, apple cider)
    • At least one cocktail — I made cranberry martinis (with homemade cranberry simple syrup) and this creamy coconut cocktail (with homemade coconut-infused vodka and coconut cream) last year

Holiday party spread 2015: cheese!

What am I missing? What would you choose for my TBD items? And do you want to come to my party? :P

From the People Who Brought You Harvest Party…

My blog always tends to get quiet around the holidays. I suppose I should just accept it and stop apologizing; it’s just the way things shake out! This time around, hosting a winter/holiday-themed party has kept me busy. Riding on the smashing success of our Harvest Party, S and I hosted a Winter Party last weekend (“to celebrate the season that global warming will soon destroy,” as S put it in the invitation). Our spread was just as magnificent this time around.

Table covered with platters, plates, and bowls of food.

Holiday foodz!

Like last time, we made sure to offer a good balance of savory and sweet snacks. Here’s what was on offer:

All of our savory items (sans the pretzels) were gluten-free, as was the cheesecake, because we were hosting two GF folks – one of whom is also vegan! I love being able to tell another vegan that, yes, you can eat everything! (Well, technically not everything as she’s GF, but… still.) Even the non-vegans loved our offerings; one guest said he was wary of the onion-bacon dip but was pleasantly surprised. We should’ve doubled that recipe – it went fast!

Alongside the food, we served a variety of beverages, including a bit pot o’ glogg (which I didn’t even get to try – boo!). We also made Ginger Snap Cocktails and Hot Toddies to order. A rousing game of Cards Against Humanity (with bonus holiday cards!) rounded out the evening for us and our guests, and everyone left full of holiday cheer and good spirits.*

And now we’re preparing for our first blizzard of the season. I’m glad it’ll end before I fly back to RI on Sunday – I wouldn’t want to deal with that nightmare! I’m excited to head home and see my family, especially because I haven’t seen my little sister’s baby bump (!) in person yet. The only thing that’s stressing me out is that my little pup has a bladder infection caused by a bladder stone, and I’m a little nervous about boarding her while she’s sick. The folks at her kennel (I don’t like that word!) are very nice and will gladly give her all her meds and watch out for her, but I hate leaving a sick pup. Not that she acts sick – she’s as playful as ever, just with 95% more accidents! I won’t miss cleaning those. ;) I will, however, miss this face.

Close-up of a scruffy grey dog face!

That face.

D’aww. Too cute.

What are your holiday plans? Hosted any fun parties lately?

*I mean, I hope they did. I can’t say for sure.

Harvest Party!

Orange rectangle with the white fist-shaped Vegan MoFo logo and the text "Vegan Month of Food 2012."
S and I threw a party last night. Not a wild rager (as if), but a genteel affair, with a small crowd, lots of lively chatter, and a healthy amount of fawning over my pup. We called it a Harvest Party, and as such, our menu of nibbles was inspired by the season. Behold!

Small table decorated with gourds and filled with lots of food - stuffed mushrooms, various dips, mini cupcakes, candied nuts, and more.

The spread.

S and I spent a good while creating our menu and preparing the food, and we put together a respectable spread. We had:

  • Spinach-artichoke dip (from a recipe S found online) with cracker-chips and French bread
  • Stuffed mushrooms (from Urban Vegan)
  • Candied mixed nuts (from Vegan Food Gifts)
  • Pumpkin-cream cheese dip (based on this recipe, although I made a very similar one two years ago) with graham crackers and apple slices
  • Mini pumpkin-chocolate chip cupcakes (from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World)
  • Peanut butter-filled pretzels (…from Costco)
  • Tapenade (from a recipe S found online) with French bread

We also offered seasonal drinks (pumpkin ale! mulled cider with optional boozy add-ins!) to round out our guests’ dining experiences. Everyone raved about the food – the dips and stuffed mushrooms received the most compliments – and nobody even commented on its veganness. Delicious vegan food win! But really, how could you go wrong with hearty foods like these:

Closer view of a bowl full of spinach-artichoke dip and a platter of stuffed mushrooms.

Savories.

…and sweet delights like these?

Close-up of a plate full of mini pumpkin chocolate-chip muffins. In the background is a bowl full of a creamy pumpkin-cream cheese dip.

Sweets!

Our decor certainly helped set the scene as well. Can you see that autumnal table runner in the corner? My mama made it for me last year, and I love it! I contributed my own handiwork by setting out our glassware on some linen/cotton napkins I sewed and embroidered last year, and of course I made the little labels for the food. We completed the mise-en-scene with a playlist carefully crafted by S, my man of many musics. The party was a delightful way to spend a Friday night, even if we didn’t get to bed until – gasp – nearly 1:00 AM… hence my late-morning post. ;)

How do you feel about themed parties? Totally fun to plan, or not worth the effort?