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...