Saturday, December 02, 2006

Holiday Craft Party Cooking Fun Part 1

We had a really fun craft party today. In past years we have invited all our long-lost friends, but we always ended up feeling a pretty overwhelmed. So this year we really tuned down the scale of the event and it was so fun. People made ornaments, paper chains, Make-A-Plates, gift tags, buttons (I have a button making machine)... it was fun. And, of course I did lots of cooking! (*by the way, sorry for my blurry, sub-par photos. Our house & lighting never seems bright enough for natural pictures, but then our flash is aggressively over-powering, so I sometimes have to settle for a bit dark & blurry.)

Here's a picture of the whole snack table! In addition to all the goodies I made (see below), there were also "Candy Cane Joe-Joes" (candy-cane trader joes oreos - vegan!!), potato chips, pumpkin seeds & dried edamame, and spice drops.

Close up of the "Decorate-Your-Own-Gingerbread-Man" station, complete with four colors of frosting, silver balls, red hots, and red-white-green sprinkles.

I made the amazing white bean pesto from Susan over at fat free vegan. She put it on pasta, but I like it as a dip or a spread on little bread slices. SO good, so easy. Make it soon.

I also made some very good hazelnut hummus from an old issue of Sunset magazine. I've had this recipe in my "recipe file" for a long time, and I'm glad I finally made it. Deelicious!!!

Here are the stuffed mushrooms from VwaV. As I have stated in the past, I am not a mushroom fan, but musty is - and he convinced me to make these for the party. Then, when I told him I was only making 30, he went out and got me 30 more mushrooms this morning! Good thing he did, too - because there's not one left. They disappeared fast! I liked the filling, so maybe I'll use it sometime to stuff a bell pepper or something else besides a mushroom. :)


  1. What a wonderful party! Did you make the gingerbread men yourself or can you buy them? Stuffing 60 mushrooms sounds like a lot of work, but they look delicious. I'll have to check out the recipe.

    I'm so glad you liked the white bean pesto--I'll have to use it as a dip sometime.

  2. Hi Susan!
    Wow! Yeah, I made the Gingerbread Men - I followed the recipe from the current issue of Martha Stuart Living (although I had to reduce the cooking time by 5 minutes). I've also used the recipe in Joy Of Cooking before. It made a LOT as you can see. I had one for breakfast this morning too. They are actually really easy, because the dough isn't fragile at all.

    The mushrooms weren't too much work... I was totally delighted with the little pocket that's there when you pop off the stems!! I had no idea, and I was running around the house forcing my boyfriend to inspect the perfect little mushroom pockets!

    I love the white bean pesto! I love it on little bread slices... Also, it went really quickly and there was none left - so I'm not the only one who loves it. :)

  3. Anonymous11:50 PM

    I just made the mistake of expanding the gorgeous photo of the table of I'm starved! Lol! Looks so festive!

    I love the idea of the decorating your own ginger-guys! Very cute!

    I'm funny about mushrooms, so I can relate. I can only eat the small ones and the ones like in your photo. (In fact, those looks great!) I just steer clear of the ones the size of shrubs!

  4. Hi Candi,
    Sorry to make you hungry! :)

    The mushrooms and I have a tenuous relationship. I don't mind the flavor too much, but the texture is what really does me in.

  5. The spread looks amazing! I almost couldn't bear to look today to see what I missed out on! Both the pesto and hummus look delicious. Andd, wow, that mushroom filling looks great. I have been eyeing that recipe too, but would rather stuff it in something else. I don't eat bell peppers at all, so that's out. I actually thought about just putting it on crostini...

  6. Back again. That hazelnut hummus recipe is available online (middle of the page, assuming this is the same one you used):
    Terrible format, but everything is there. Looks delicious!

  7. Anonymous8:29 PM

    Hey! I was just taking a closer look at the photo with your gingerbread men, and I noticed the tiny little baby ones on the left! SO cute. When I make cut-out cookies, I love using up every last bit- I should look for tiny cookie cutters.

  8. Anonymous9:15 PM

    What a fun idea for a party! Your food spread is amazing. I never would have thought to have a gingerbread making station but the idea is super cute. Have you seen the gingerbread men at the PPK? If not, go here: I don't know about the actual recipe as I have yet to make it but the decorations are so fun! Glad to hear the party was a success!

  9. Hi Jen!
    I sure missed you at the party... Maybe next time we get together we can have a little mini vegan potluck or something. :) I think the mushroom stuffing would be *great* on crostini. Good idea! Also - thanks for posting the hummus recipe. That is indeed the one I used. I modified it a bit, and one of these days I'll get around to posting it the way I made it. That article finder looks like an amazing resource!

    Hi Bazu,
    I love the tiny Gingerbread people!! Hee hee. I have some little ladies too, but they are in the shape of a ggbread lady wearing a dress - and I thought that was a bit out dated. I decided that most of the ladies at our party would relate to a t-shirt and pants more than a full-length dress. Ha ha.

    Hi VivV,
    I hadn't ever seen those funny ggbread people before - they're awesome!! I wish i had taken more pictures of all the sweet cookies that people decorated. I was thinking that maybe next year I will pick one or two crafts and just focus on those... maybe ggbread houses?


  10. Anonymous8:28 AM

    Nice Spread! It looks so professional!


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