Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Eve Dinner... Success at last!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

I originally wrote this message on Christmas Eve, but for 3 days, weird blogger wouldn't accept any of my photos. UGH! so, the post is 3 days late... sorry for such a long gap... I was trying and trying and trying! In the meantime, we've been eating leftovers and sweets that we got in our stockings. Musty got me a box of the most AMAZING vegan chocolate caramels, by Sjaak's company. YUM!

Our big family dinner on Christmas Eve was a great success, full of love and family and friends and feasting! I spent all day in the kitchen and ended up with:

27 manicotti! (This is one of two pans of manicotti) I LOVE these, and so did my family, because there were only 4 left at the end of the night. Even my super meat-eating brother loved it! I use the "Green Goddess" filling (or something like that) from VwaV. I've altered it only a little bit by adding salt and by sauteeing the garlic in olive oil first. Then, boil your manicotti noodles until tender but not floppy. Then cover them in generous amounts of tomato sauce. Bake at 375 for about 45 min.

1 super super delicious pumpkin pie! I think this is the best vegan pumpkin pie I've ever made!

2 pear cranberry tarts from VwaV - a new family favorite!

1 Panforte, an italian dessert that I fell in love with in Italy... It's like a mega super dense fruit cake of sorts, but exceedingly good. It's got almonds, walnuts, dried figs, cocoa powder, sugar, corn syrup, a little bit of flour, candied orange peel, candied citron... Oh, it's so good. This was actually for lunch on Christmas day. The picture is so dark... oops

Also, my aunt S made some super delicious brussel sprouts, following the VwaV recipe. Oh man, these were great. I love that recipe. We've got a large number of brussel sprout lovers in our family, so they all got gobbled up!

Not pictured: 2 amazing!!! casseroles of veggie stuffing. YUM By the way, here's the stuffing recipe again (I posted it in the comments of the last post). This time, I added apples and walnuts (thanks for the idea, Chris!) - and it was even more delicious! So, I added them into the recipe too. :) I don't have an exact recipe... but I did this:
about 3/4 lb bread
2-4 T Earth Balance
1 onion, chopped
4-5 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 c coarsely chopped walnuts
1 medium apple, diced (smallish dice, but not tiny)
1 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 T fresh sage chopped
1 T fresh thyme chopped
1/2 c fresh parsley
1/4 tsp pepper
2 c veg broth ** not sure of amount, I was just eyeballing it. I used mushroom broth for a strong flavor, and it was great.

Heat oven to 250 and toast the bread slices 10 min on both sides (20 min total). I did this earlier in the day, which saved a little time in the evening. chop your bread into 1/2 inch cubes. Now, raise the oven temp to 350 and lightly "butter" a casserole dish with a lid.

Melt earth balance in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the onions and celery and heat until onions are soft and clear. Add all the herbs, parsely, and pepper and stir it up. Lower heat to low. Add in the bread cubes and stir around. Start adding in the broth, a bit at a time... Keep adding broth until it looks like all the bread chunks have soaked up some broth (it will depend how moist you like your stuffing... but it's easy to eyeball it - I promise). Transfer it all to the "buttered" casserole dish. I threw in a couple extra teaspoons of broth for good measure. Cover and cook 30 min. Remove cover and cook another 5-10 min.

For lunch on Christmas day, we had an informal lunch ... leftovers and sandwiches. The meatys had turkey sandwiches... and us veggies used the extra manicotti filling on our sandwiches. YUM! That stuff is so versatile and tasty.
I hope you had a wonderful xmas celebration!!!


  1. Anonymous12:20 AM

    My dear!

    It was such fun being at the party, and the eats and treats you prepared were sublime. I am still thinking about that manicotti.

    Let me know if you're going to come to Tahoe. (You know the kitchen; just think what it could do for your blog!) Also, on your next visit up here, I have a new Indian restaurant for you to discover and worship: Annapoorna. Southern Indian vegetarian cusine. To die for. Very very generic surroundings and ambience but the food is beyond belief! The dosas! The weekend buffet!

    xoxo JJTWH

  2. Anonymous8:56 AM

    Everything looks awesome! I'm glad you liked the stuffing idea ;-)

    I really must try making that tart one of these days. Looks scrumptious.

  3. Anonymous6:11 PM

    You put so much love and care into your desserts. They are really very beautiful. Happy to hear you had a wonderful holiday celebration with the family. :)

  4. Anonymous9:37 PM

    I was lucky enough to be at the Christmas Eve feast and everything Amey made, as well as some of the other veggie treats, were really great. This was my first veggie Christmas and I didn't feel like I missed out on anything, that's for sure.

  5. Hi JJTWH,
    Hoorah! It was great to have you at the festivities. They were all the more festive because of your presence! Annapoorna sounds goooooood. Can't wait!

    Hi Chris!
    Yes, thanks again for the great stuffing tip. And of course, I sure do recommend the tart. I had the last piece cold out of the fridge this evening - and it was great!

    Hi VivV,
    I'm such a fan for desserts. I always feel like vegan desserts are so special... especially since you can't just get them anywhere like non-vegan desserts. Thanks for the kind words.

    Hi Lis!
    Hoorah! I'm so glad ot hear that you didn't feel like you missed out on anything. We had such a feast, didn't we?

    xo Amey


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