Friday, May 29, 2009

Peanuts are Magical! Chocolate Peanut Butter Milk Shake

I thought I'd share this little treat with ya'll, because I haven't been terribly productive lately due to my recent unemployment. I know you would think that would free up more time for blogging, but I have found quite the opposite! I'm a super busy gal, now that I'm looking for a job. Anyway, here is a fabulous concoction that proves a theory I posed last time I was in NYC: Peanuts are magical! My apologies for the less than stellar pic.

For this delicious shake, just place two scoops of vegan ice cream (vanilla or chocolate chip or cookie dough) into your blender. Then add about a tablespoon of the magic ingredient; peanut butter. Throw in some chocolate chips (about ¼ cup) and just enough chocolate soy milk to make everything mix well. Put your blender on high and blend until the chocolate chips are no longer chunky, and voila! You have a rich and decadent chocolate peanut butter milk shake.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Vegan Cocktail Party

Vegan entertaining is not so different from omni entertaining, but sometimes it seems like you need to put a little extra effort in to completely dispel any preconceived negative ideas about vegan food and drinks. Here are a few tips on throwing a successful vegan cocktail party with examples from a recent bubbly and finger foods fĂȘte I threw.

Pick one or two impressive but not incredibly complicated recipes that are sure to be crowd pleasers. For this, I chose Candle CafĂ©’s meaty grilled seitan chimichurri in citrus herb marinade and lovely little corn fritters from VWAV. These recipes had about two cups of oil in them, but that brings up another one of my party rules: Indulge a little. Make that extra fatty recipe that you love. You’ll be sharing it amongst all your guests, so you don’t have to worry about eating the entire thing yourself and waking up five pounds heavier.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I asked my guests to bring an app if they could, and we ended up with a delicious bounty of eclectic dishes. Sadly, I don’t have a photo, but a friend of mine and her chef boyfriend made a beautiful trio of bruschetta; one traditional tomato, one made with beets and a third with chickpeas and fresh herbs. They were to die for.

Pepper the rest of your menu with simple, easy dishes and artisanal store-bought goods. I also served mango spring rolls, which are super easy to make, except for the julienning (Thanks, Marc!). To round things out, I bought hummus and set out bowls with nuts and chips.

Include one decadent sweet. I love to blow my friends away with rich baked goods that they would never guess were vegan. Because my party was spring-themed I made cute lemon cookies from VWAV with lemon frosting and blue sprinkles.
Set up the bar beforehand. Have your white and sparkling wines chilled. Uncork a red or two. Use a decanter for a nicer red, and have it waiting for guests. If you’re planning to serve mixed drinks, make sure all your fresh juices are squeezed, any herbs are chopped and ready and other mixers are chilled. And, of course, have a bucket of ice ready.

I love throwing parties for all of my friends, especially when they only include vegan food. This isn’t because I want to convert all of my friends to veganism (wouldn’t that be nice!) It’s because I like to show people that vegans can serve up gourmet hor d’ouvres and drinks just as well as any omni can. So, follow these tips and show your friends that the vegan life can be the lush life.