Saturday, November 30, 2013

November Parties!

I thought I would wrap up the end of the month with a rundown of get-togethers and parties that filled November! Now that my anxiety, OCD and bipolar symptoms are on the wane (for now) it's time to get back to some cooking. 

Nov. 9th ~ Guy Fawke's Bonfire at my sweet English friend's home. The actual day they celebrate is Nov. 5th but that was a Tuesday so it was moved to Saturday. Such fun! Lots of food and an awesome bonfire burning of the Guy Fawke's effigy. I always try to bring a casserole or other substantial dish so I know I have at least one thing to eat. I made Black Bean & Sweet Potato Tortilla Casserole from Vegan Holiday Kitchen and Cowgirl Cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. 

This is an alternative to the Cowboy Cookies using cranberries and vegan white chocolate chips.

The Black Bean-Sweet Potato Casserole is always a hit. I even had one lady come up to me and tell me that her husband loved this dish! The pan was empty at the end of the night.

Nov. 15th ~ Rehearsal dinner at Macayo's Mexican restaurant for my son and his fiance'. They make a California Burro that I always order. I have them substitute the refried beans for black beans. And yes, I do include the cheese and sour cream. 

Nov. 16th ~ Wedding! A beautiful ceremony and reception at the Golf Club of Estrella for my baby boy (25 in February) and his beloved. Lots of great food; appetizers of hummus, pita bread, veggies, cheese, crackers, green salads, roasted veggies, scalloped potatoes, rolls and meat. And the wedding cake was delicious along with the champagne! Not too worried about watching what I ate that night. Celebrate!!!

Nov. 24th ~ Potluck Birthday/Bon Voyage Party at another dear friend's home. There is always a ton of food at these potlucks. Again, I made a casserole dish; Baked Chili with Cornbread Biscuit Topping from La Dolce Vegan. 

A wonderfully, sweet and spicy chili. This time I used Butler's Soy Curls instead of the frozen veggie crumbles (which bother my stomach.) Loved the addition of the soy curls; they gave it that meaty, hearty texture this dish needed. And it fooled all the meat-eaters! Again, another empty casserole dish. 

I love using these because they are just dried soybeans; nothing else. 
They are very kind to my stomach! 

Nov. 28th ~ Thanksgiving Day. My mom likes to cook a huge meal for everyone. I always bring the Tofurky with roasted carrots, potatoes and onions along with some Tofurky gravy. I also made Green Bean Casserole Redux from 1000 Vegan Recipes and Cranberry-Carrot Cake with Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. It's a nice, easy trip to Mom and Dad's; they live right across the street! 

This year I basted the Tofurky and veggies with a mixture of my Poultry Seasoning, Bragg's and Roasted Garlic Infused Oil. My New York friend sells Tastefully Simple products and this Garlic Oil is delicious. It added a subtle sweet garlic taste to the veggies and Tofurky. I want to try it the next time I roast asparagus or green beans. Confession time~this is the last year I am making a Tofurky. Well, I'm the only one who eats it and also, it really gives me intestinal distress! Next year, I'm going to try making some stuffed squash but I like the roasted veggies so I'll keep making those.

Basting marinade. 

Fresh, organic green beans for the Green Bean Casserole. Instead of the usual cream of mushroom soup (which isn't vegan) you make a yummy sauce using chopped fresh mushrooms, seasonings and unsweetened soymilk. Of course you have to use a can of fried onion rings!

This tastes just like I remember a good old fashioned green bean casserole should!

The Cranberry-Carrot Cake hot from the oven. She suggested using a springform pan to make a prettier presentation. I mixed up the Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting according to the directions but it just tasted and had the consistency of the soymilk. Maybe a typo? I added about 3/4 cup powdered sugar and it turned out alot better. After drizzling on the cake I added toasted, chopped walnuts. 

Loved the flavors; the fresh cranberries were a nice, tangy contrast to the sweet frosting. Hubby especially liked it! 

Nov. 30th ~  Last but not least! As I was typing up my post, my son texted me and said "drinkin beer and eatin turkey tonight at my house". Heeheehee. I texted back and said "is that an invitation?" So I better bring something to eat for myself because who knows what else there will be to eat?! I'm going to whip up Wolffie's Fiesta Macaroni Bean Salad from La Dolce Vegan for tonight. 

Wow! What a month! I'm sure December will be just as wild and crazy. I'm getting all of my fall decorations gathered up today while I've got the hubby out in the garage bringing in all of the winter holiday decorations. I think tomorrow will be busy! 


  1. Oh man. That all looks so good - especially the cranberry carrot cake! I haven't tried soy curls. Everyone kept talking about them when I was in Portland, but the name kind of turned me off. I will have to give them a try next time I am in a place that has them. (I haven't seen them anywhere in Detroit.)

    1. The cake was delicious! It wasn't light and fluffy but more like a quick bread consistency. I order the soy curls right from their website. I put a link in my post.