Since I have been working at the clinic, every year I host a Girls Day In for The Cancer Council to raise money for women's cancer. I invite all the girls from work over for an afternoon of eating, chatting and donating. In 2010, the day happened to fall on the 31st of October. Halloween isn't really a big thing here in Australia, which is fine by me, but I thought it would be fun to have a Halloween costume theme for the afternoon.
This is the table all set with the various noms. Rules are I make all the food. Cruelty free FTW. :)
Cupcakes are probably the highlight of the day. I make different things every year, so if you miss out then that is it! I made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cinnamon Icing,and also some Coconut Lime Cupcakes, both from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. The coconut Lime cupcake itself is delicious, but the frosting makes a ridiculous amount, there is almost more frosting than cupcake! There was no way I could make it through that amount of sugar. A couple of people agreed with me, and there was some leftover icing. Others, however, ate the whole lot! The pumpkin cupcakes seemed like a cute fit with the Halloween theme. I dry roasted about 750g of butternut pumpkin to get the 1 cup of puree I needed. The cupcakes were great, the icing was nice too but a bit runny. We tried making cute patterns on the top but it kind of just ran everywhere.
I made a Sache Torte from 500 Vegan Recipes. This is a variation of the Chocolate Cake recipe - make two chocolate cakes, layer with raspberry jam in the middle and cover with a double recipe of Chocolate Ganache. This was delicious! You can totally make this the night before, because the flavours just meld with a bit of sitting and it still stays rich and moist. I wish I had an inside shot!
Maple Pecan Sticky Blondies from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan were very nice too. The crunchy pecan topping is just delicious! It gives you the option of dark or white chocolate chips for garnish, and I chose dark chocolate because I don't like white chocolate. These were very well received.
It can't all be sweets. Butternut Squash Rice Paper Rolls were served with Cranberry-Chili Dipping Sauce, both from Veganomicon. I had made these rolls before, and this time I left out the salted pumpkin seeds because I wasn't sure they would be to everyone's taste. While they lacked the salty, crunchy contrast they were still very nice. I also used mint, because not everyone is a coriander freak like me.
Snow peas Stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus was a cute offering from 1000 Vegan Recipes. I didn't blanch the snow peas, we just had them raw, crunchy and delicious! The hummus made about three times the amount needed to 'stuff' the snowpeas, so I served the extra with carrot sticks.
On the subject of dips, here are a couple more. Veganomicon's Mediterranean-Style Cashew-Cucumber Dip was the star here. I've made this before and it is just amazing. In a last minute panic of thinking there wouldn't be enough food I also made Sesame Bean Spread from 500 Vegan Recipes, but sadly I found this was a bit dry and didn't have much flavour.
This is just a pretty photo of the blondies on my awesome pastel-coloured three-tier stand, sharing it with some red grapes and strawberries. Delicious!
A halloween-themed party means costumes! Not everyone dressed up, but here are those that did - you can see we have a few cats (of course), some angels, some devils and Siti, who made the most awesome costume ever. I am not sure if you can see it, but she is wearing an empty bag of Breeder's Choice cat litter, and in her hair has fashioned a headpiece that looks remarkably, like, well... kitty.... you know. ;)
Cute Kitty Photo of the Post
The day was on a Sunday afternoon, and I had arrived back home from a trip to Tasmania on Thursday, been to a friend's art show, had to catch up with my masters, went to a Halloween murder mystery party the night before that went super late and then cook all these recipes. Even though I made several in the day before, I was TIRED. Thankfully, the lovely Shelley offered to come and be my kitchen wench, though you can see she was actually a kitchen angel! And here is she with our other guests for the day, a teeny kitten. The nurses often have kittens for hand rearing, and here is one of them. How cute and little is she. :)