Monday, June 23, 2008

Baby BBQ!

The Month of Celebrations continues!

Yesterday was my most wonderful and most pregnant friend JJTWH's baby shower. Instead of a small ladies-only affair, she envisioned a big, coed BBQ with kiddos running around the yard. So, I like calling it the Baby BBQ. It was such a fun day. She and I are both into food, and are both serious farmer's market addicts, so we had no trouble coming up with the menu. In fact, we made a bit too much food! But now we've got leftovers, and I'm not complaining!

I made a batch of the Curried Carrot Dip from Veganomicon. What a great color! I'll definitely make this again, but next time I'll add some of the water from boiling the carrots to give it a creamier consistency.

I also made up a batch of the Meditteranean Cucumber Cashew Dip from "Veganomicon." It's so great. There's some leftover, which I intend to enjoy for lunch for the next couple of days!

We got a ton of veggies and marinated them. Unfortunately for our massive stockpile of veggies, the fellows at the grill were focusing on the meat and the veggies didn't see much action. I left some of the marinated veggies for JJTWH to enjoy, & brought these home with me. They made a great, light dinner after binging on food all afternoon!

I didn't get pictures of all the great stuff JJTWH made, but she made some great dishes. She made a wonderful Greek Salad with heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers and spices. Also, there was a nice big bowl of bean salad, and a stunning farmers' market fruit salad: nectarines, peaches, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cherries... oh it was GOOD. And we had some homemade veggie burgers too for the veg*ns amongst us, which were happily consumed.

Of course, you know me. I've been plotting the desserts for this event for months now! Who cares about veggies and dip, when you can look at pictures of desserts!? I went out and bought the fancy foil cupcake liners for extra dazzle.

First up, the Apricot Almond Cupcakes from "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World." I love this recipe. Not too flashy, but totally delicious. These cuppers came out just perfectly - with a big dollop of apricot jam hiding in the middle. I was totally psyched.

Next up the Lemon Vanilla Cups from VCTOtW. Wow! These were probably my favorite. Especially with the Lemon Buttercream Frosting. I made a half batch of frosting and still had some left over - I'm more of a spreader than a squeezer when it comes to frosting. I decorated with blueberries and an edible flower mix - both from the farmers market. I LOVE those edible flowers and just think they are so gorgeous.

Last up, the Chocolate Cups from VCTOtW, with the simple chocolate ganache. Decorated with more flowers and raspberries from my grandpa's garden. YUMOLA! These were the first to go. The flowers were great because they gave great effect, but were subtle and delicate enough not to interfere at all with the flavor or consistency of the cupcakes. and so festive!

I also made a huge batch of chocolate covered strawberries. YUM. These are so easy and delicious and fancy looking. All you do is melt down some chocolate chips or chocolate bars (you need the good stuff) in a double boiler. Carefully dip in the berries, gently turn to cover the whole berry, then set on a sheet of parchement paper. After you're done, put the whole batch in the fridge to firm up again. Then you stuff your face like a crazed person! At least, that's what I did.

I used some of the leftover melted chocolate to decorate the two Lemon Coconut Tarts I made. I make this dish all the time, so you've probably seen it before. I love it so much.

All in all, the all-vegan desserts were a major crowd pleaser. All that was left at the end was about 3/4 of one lemon tart and 5 cupcakes. Not bad! Once again, spreading the good word of veganism through decadent dessert items!

More importantly, it was a great party for JJTWH and her husband. Many friends, many smiles, fun activities, family catching up, kids blowing bubbles... ahhh...

25 comments:

  1. Aww, a baby BBQ!! Too fun!! Oh my, as always, your dishes look SPECTACULAR - but I'm partial to the desserts, since I'm a baker ;0) I finally got a copy of VCTOTW, so those cupcakes that you made from that cookbook are definitely on my "must try" list!!

    Thank you so much for your kind comment on my blog - it really meant a lot to me.

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  2. Yum! I love the edible flowers on the cupcakes, so pretty.

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  3. My CSA has edible marigolds this year and they are SO good!

    Love the ladybug on the cake :)

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  4. The edible flowers on the cupcakes are so pretty!

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  5. JJTWH is one lucky mama! I am suddenly super hungry after reading this!

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  6. JJTWH9:19 PM

    Hi friends, JJTWH here. For all the good things you know about Amey--her spirit, her energy, her creativity, her cooking skills--multiply by about 10,000 and you're getting close to the real thing! She is the best! And all the cupcakes will be officially gone by 11pm this evening!

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  7. Aw, I love the look of the edible flowers! So lovely.
    I'd love to bite in to that tart, yum! Everything looks wonderful.

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  8. What a gorgeous spread. The cupcakes and chocolate covered strawberries look lovely and I'm sure they were just as tasty. Great job.

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  9. Your cupcakes with the flowers are so pretty! I went to a similarly themed shower and it was a great way to celebrate.

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  10. What beautiful baked goods! I love the idea of decorating with flowers- they're so colorful!

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  11. Sounds like a great spread! Thanks for reminding me about that carrot dip - I made it a few weeks ago and loved it.

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  12. Wow, you were a busy vegan bee! All of your food looks amazing, especially those cuppers! Congrats to her! (And to you for making all that yummy food!)

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  13. What a fun way to celebrate! And you've given me lots of ideas for a baby shower (coed) that I'll be throwing in about six months or so!
    I love the edible flowers on the cupcakes, so colorful! And I can never see enough of those lemon coconut tarts!

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  14. It's so great your friends/family are so vegan friendly. All of the food sounds wonderful, especially the curried dip and cucumber dip! I have been eying the Veganomicon dips, and now I must make them!

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  15. What a feast! Everything looks delicious, but those cupcakes with the edible flowers are truly breathtaking.

    I've got to try that cucumber dip!

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  16. Everything looks so wonderful! I don't even know where to start... I especially love the flowers decorating the cupcakes!

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  17. Baby BBQ! Cute name. Everything looks delicious!!

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  18. the BBQ veggies look soo good and all those desserts dont look to shabby either. YUM YUM

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  19. Wow, you made some gorgeous food for this shindig! The cupcakes with the edible flowers are particularly stunning. I'd almost hate to eat them!

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  20. Hi Amey,

    I am an Australian vegan, and i've been reading some of your older posts about travelling and eating in India. I've recently been given the chance to undertake a year-long internship with mentally ill homeless women in Chennai. It's an incredible opportunity, but I have to admit I'm a little worried about eating a compromised vegan (often ghee-laden) diet for such a long time. I don't speak Hindi or any Indian dialect so I'd have to communicate my concerns in English. I was just wondering if you had any thoughts on this - I am thinking I could get by with mostly cooking for myself and only eating out occasionally? Really sorry about the long long comment; please don't worry if this isn't a question you can answer. I love your blog, and it's encouraging me to find a good yoga centre in India (if I get there!) -Debra

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  21. those cupcakes are so so so pretty! and your cake writing is perfect! :o

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  22. I keep going back to the photo of the cucumber dip even though the entire spread is breathtaking. That has to be the best baby shower food I've ever seen!

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  23. Hi Debra,
    I wonder if you'll get this response. Being all-vegan isn't so easy in India, but it's a LOT easier in Southern India than in the north. So you'd have that going for you. Plus, it sounds like such an incredibly wonderful opportunity! If your heart says go, then go, and don't worry about the food. Chennai is a really big city and there are surely specialty markets where you can get some products. Some of the quick boil-and–eat Indian food packets are vegan (and the ingredients are always listed in English). There's tons of great produce in Southern India, including so many wonderful fruits that you can't find in the states. And cooking for yourself is not so hard. You'll find some places that will cook vegan food (mainly to watch out for ghee and curds)... and you can become a regular there. Feel free to let me know if you have any more questions. And tell me about your journey if you end up going, I'd love to hear about it and live vicariously through you!
    :) Amey

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  24. Ok, firstly - I wish you were MY friend, baking me all this delicious awesomeness!!! I have not tried the apricot cupcakes yet, from VCTOTW, but you have just convinced me that I can put it off no longer! - and I think I could just live on lemon coconut tarts exclusively. What a fabulous feast for the eyes all this is - beautifully done!

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