Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Brotherly birthday 2009

My brother had a birthday. It was in June. I know, it has taken me a long time to get this up! Bad Susan! Anyway, my brother turned 26 this year (how do baby brothers grow up so fast?) and he of course got to choose the menu. Unfortunately he chose three very involved and fiddly things, which would have been fine if I had not come down with a case of the ookeys the day before. So I had to modify and change, but it was all still OK!

The first course, and the only remaining aspect of his original menu request, was Potato-Edamame Samosas with Coconut-Mint Chutney from Vegan With A Vengeance. I was sososososo happy with how these turned out, they were so cute!

First, take your adorable samosas! I like these because they are baked and not fried. I don't like fried things, too much oil makes me feel ill. So baking is fabulous!

Then make your chutney.

Then put them on a serving plate together.

Then NOM!

They were fantastic! I found that I had some filling left over that didn't fit in the dough, but it is so tasty that it really isn't too much of a hardship to finish it up as left overs. I think I had some on toast for lunch the next day. The chutney is lovely, though is quite runny and I think next time I would add some more mint.

The main course was African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew from Vegan Planet. It is a really fantastic flavour combination, all yummy and thich and creamy!

And is even better served with a side of sauteed broccolini!

The final part of the meal was Pear Upside Down Pudding from Now Vegan. This is an amazing pudding with a fabulous taste. It has a lot of ginger in it, and the topping turns into a glorious sticky and toffee like substance. I highly recommend!

Friday, 7 August 2009

Pumpkin before midnight.

When the clock hits midnight, I turn into a pumpkin. And then I have to sit and vegetate until someone rolls me home to bed. Or not exactly, but something like that. I had the girls Jen and Jen over for dinner last night, and I made a pumpkin menu at the smaller Jen's request. Also it was a celebration as the bigger Jen got a new job - hurrah!

First course was Curried Roasted Butternut Squash Hummus Spread from the wonderful Have Cake, Will Travel blog by Celine Steen. And it was fabulous! The girls both loved it and I gave them each a container to take home with them. My brother also snacked on the left overs this afternoon and gave it a two thumbs up! Particularly excellent with pita bread.

Dinner was meant to be a pumpkin sauce with gnocchi, but there was tragedy. I was making the potato gnocchi recipe from Easy Vegan Cooking. I had carefully worked in my potato and margarine and flour and it was looking grand. Then it said to mix together 8tbs chickpea flour and 8tbs water together then add to the mixture. As I was adding it I thought it looked like a lot, and it was! Turned my nice dough into SMOOSH, and I couldn't save it. It really annoys me when recipe books have the wrong ingredients with it! *grumble*

So, this was my saving grace. Pumpkin Lasagne! It is from a little Australian Women's Weekly Vegetarian book I had lying around. It had ricotta in it, which I replaced with the Cashew Ricotta Cheese from Vcon. It was pretty good, and I served it with green salad with Back To Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.

And the finale - our first ever pumpkin pie! Pumpkin pie is not really something we eat in Australia. Even though we see American's eating it on TV all the time! The recipe for both base and pie was from The Joy Of Vegan Baking. A pecan pie crust, which was quite nice though a little crumbly. And the pie mixture. I thought it was pretty nice overall! Everyone who has tried it enjoyed it a lot. So maybe the pumpkin pie will take off in Brisbane?

It was a lovely nice. Lots of laughter, lots of fun and lots of eating. And I have so many more pumpkin recipes I can make! All hail the pumpkin!