my mom's pretty table decor (& her yummy cranberry sauce!)
My family had a really lovely Thanksgiving celebration this year at my parents' house. It was simple and easy and fun and low key. Ahhh. No stress, no complications... just lots of ease and comfort. I am so grateful for that!
securely snugged into a bowl and ready to be transported across town
My family always does our family gatherings potluck-style. Everyone is in charge of bringing something (or a few things), and that way, no one person is overwhelmed and everyone gets to contribute something.
The first thing I had to make was the magical cheeseball that I have so recently fallen in love with. For extra holiday flare, I did the version where the goop is rolled in chopped pecans, thyme and sage.
Everyone wants a piece of that cheeseball!
As predicted, El Senor Cheeseball was unanimously approved by all present at the gathering. I even got to use my adorable little cheese plate with ceramic mice on it. One of my finest purchases ever. This picture documents Mr. VE&T taking the inaugural bite of the cheeseball, and his mom in close pursuit!
Also, just peeking off the side of the picture, you can see the hummus and fresh veggies that my mom made for appetizer. My mom makes a mean batch of homemade hummus. It's one of her specialties, and this was a particularly yummy batch!
Instead of making regular old vegan stuffing, I decided to make a batch of the Stuffed Thanksgiving Burgers from the PPK. I love this recipe sooooo much! I just served them as cutlets - and had mine with vegan gravy and cranberry sauce. Mmm. I especially love the roasted hazelnuts and chewy dried cranberries in there. Happily, there were a few left over, and we are planning to have them for dinner tomorrow night.
For the gravy, I made a batch of Julie Hasson's Savory Gravy (the recipe is in her books Vegan Diner and i). In the past, I've always just used a mix to make gravy (*hangs head in shame*), but I've heard so many good things about this gravy that I really wanted to try it. It was super easy, quick to make, and very delicious! The recipe makes 5 cups, and since I would be pretty much the only person eating the stuff, I made a half batch and have lots left for my leftovers feasts this week.
Vegan Biscuits by my dad!!
This year, we had an atypical amount of participation from the fellas! My brother made the "non-vegan entree" (if you know what I mean), and Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats made a huge, beautiful batch of Chipotle Chili with Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes (all by himself!*), and my dad decided to make biscuits! All on his own, he googled "vegan biscuits," found this fantastic recipe, did a trial run ahead of time to make sure they were good, and then made a beautiful batch of biscuits to go with our dinner. Oh wow! Such a luxurious treat to have someone make vegan biscuits for me!!
*I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of the chili. It turned out really perfectly. Now that Mr. VE&T and I both know that he can make a perfect batch of chili, perhaps he will start to cook more often?
My dad & his glorious vegan biscuits
In case you were wondering where my goofball qualities come from, now you have your answer!
Pumpkin Pie from Voluptuous Vegan
I love love love the pumpkin pie from Voluptuous Vegan (it's also the same recipe posted on the PPK). It's easy, quick to throw together, and delicious. It's also soy-free, which is great in our family because we have a VIP who is really allergic to soy.
I made this pie the day before Thanksgiving and it looked perfect then, but by the next day, the surface had cracked a little. I don't know why it does that. It doesn't really bother me though, because the flavor is so super.
Here's a baking question for you. I'm trying to minimize my use of palm oil, and that means trying to use less Earth Balance when I bake. I used refined coconut oil in this crust, but I had the problem that many hard bits of the coconut oil didn't ever integrate into the crust. When I was rolling it out, there were solid bits of coconut oil and i had to pick them all out, and repair the crust. And the resulting crust was tougher than I would have liked (still good, I'm just sayin'). Any tips?
I also made this beautiful and delicious galette. I've been making it for years and it is such a delicious and sophisticated dessert. So many harmonious flavors inside. I also noticed that I have never shared this recipe, so I am planning a separate post soon entirely in honor of this special dessert. Recipe coming soon! For this crust I fell back on soy-free Earth Balance and the crust was stunning and perfect. Mmm.
Now that Thanksgiving has come and blessed us with its presence for another year, I am already gung-ho for the Christmas Season. In fact, I'm already almost done drawing up my annual Christmas Cookbooklette, selecting cookie recipes for next weekend's cookie swap party, and working on my Christmas card design. This doodle was one of my Christmas card ideas, but lost out to something cuter. I didn't want it to go to waste though, so I'm sharing it here! Speaking of the Christmas spirit, I'm going to have two fun giveaways this month, a VE&T gift guide, and lots of other fun posts... so keep your eyes peeled for more fun stuff. Huzzah!