This weekend was our annual Christmas Craft Party. In years past, this has involved inviting everyone that we know and love, and turning our small house into a crazy den of glitter and scissors and glue guns and felt and so on. This year, I just didn't have it in me. I'm not sure why. So we toned it way down. Just had a few close friends and family over for a mellow afternoon of treats and holiday crafts. We honed in on a few specific crafts: painting on blank mugs from the goodwill, glass etching on blank glassware from goodwill, paper snowflakes (my personal all time favorite), and the ever-popular Make-A-Plate.
I didn't feel like getting stressed out or anxious over the party, so I kept it super simple with easy-to-make food offerings, but there were still delicious and fun.
As it turns out, I made enough food as though I had still invited my entire address book, and there was way too much food. But at least it was GOOD food! These are the Samosa Baked Potatoes from "Veganomicon," which I hadn't ever made before. Very easy & very delicious. I'll definitely make these again. Next time I might kick up the spices a little, or make a tamarind chutney to go with them, but really, I have no complaints about this recipe. It is a genius idea to put samosa filling in a twice baked potato.
A big batch of "Creamy Hummus" from "Vive le Vegan!" This has become my go-to recipe for hummus: fast, easy, low on oil, high on flavor. Love it!
And a gigantic bowl of popcorn. I used the awesome air popper that my mom scored for me at the thrift store. I love it. The popcorn is so easy, and it was a big hit. Especially with the kiddos. I had to make another giant bowl, which was gone by the end of the party.
My dear friend Sandy brought along a delicious batch of roasted asparagus. Isn't that a nice idea for something to bring to a party? She is really awesome, and so was her asparagus. Very tender and tasty.
Of course, you simply must have sweeties, or it's just not a party, is it? This is a batch of the "Low Fat Gingerbread Men" from "Joy of Cooking." As I did last year, I had a "decorate your own gingerbread man" station - 3 colors of frosting, silver balls, and red hots. It's so fun.
A double batch of "Maple Walnut Cookies" from "Vive le Vegan".... one of the best recipes of all time. These cookies are freaky good and worth the pricey 1/2 cup of maple syrup. To me, maple-y flavors are Christmas-y... and everyone loved these, as I would have expected!
And lastly, a double batch of "Chocolate Mint Melties" from the "Everyday Dish DVD." It was Vicki who first introduced me to these cookies when I met her at her house for lunch last year. I love them so much, and of course, the chocolate-mint combo is very seasonal indeed. Lucky for us, there are still about 5-6 of these in the freezer, awaiting their demise!
Now that the craft party has come and gone, I feel that I have fully committed to the holiday season. Time to start designing a card and getting my annual cookbook together!
ho ho ho!