August 13, 2012

This past weekend Brandon and I had his parents over and in addition to some retail therapy and baseball, there was a lot of fun food on the menu!  If you recall from Friday, this weekend was my first attempt to cook the in laws a few fully vegan meals or dishes that they’d truly enjoy.  Although most of my weekend was spent eating the food rather than photographing it (shameful blogger moment?), I did manage to snag a picture of a fun treat before the camera went away.

I have to say that the recipes were a definite success.  No one made any sort of deal about labeling the dishes as “vegan” or “vegetarian” or anything silly like that, we simply ate the dishes I made.  First up:

Vegan Cinnamon buns!  Real, honest to goodness, let the dough rise over night, cinnamon buns.  This was a serious first to me, as I have been known to pop open a can of Pillsbury more often than not.  But I prepped everything on Friday night and used a recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking.  I have to say I have been SO happy with this book.   I’ve made a number of recipes from here, and the scones are perfection.   The recipe worked perfectly, the only things I would’ve changed would be to use something other than whole wheat flour (it came out a little dry for me – but I don’t believe the recipe called for that specifically, just what I had on hand, although it may also be because I used a flax seed egg instead of egg replacer) and maybe to make smaller rolls next time.  The recipe made  8 larger rolls, which were fine for a sit down breakfast, but I could also see making smaller ones for an easier grab and eat meal.    Either way, these got a thumbs up from all parties involved as the perfect way to end a slightly horrendous drive down for the in laws.    Sadly, there is no evidence of these delish lil buggers, because we promptly demolished all 8 throughout the course of the weekend.  If that isn’t proof enough to make them, nothing is.

For lunch, I headed back to my trust Veganomicon cookbook and tried a new recipe for Baja Style Tempeh Tacos (have I mentioned the husband and I are OBSESSED with tempeh these days?).  I left the task of explaining what tempeh was to B, but despite a bit of blinking at it, the in laws worked their way through a hearty meal.  I followed this recipe to a T.  Right down to the lime crema, the marinated slaw and the INSANELY delicious chile beer marinade for the tempeh.   Served with a side of mexican style rice that I whipped up using some of the leftover Mexicana Spaghetti squash from Friday night (multi-purpose = win), I was once again supremely satisfied with a Veganomicon recipe.   Something worth noting, is that one of my biggest fears was that the meals may not be filling enough for my in laws, even though everything I’ve been experiencing for these past few months has said something completely otherwise.  After this late lunch/early dinner meal, all that we had room for the rest of the night was some Natty Boh (Boh’s knows best!), peanuts and some O’s soft pretzels.  Oh.  And this.

Are you guys familiar with that which is known as Puppy Chow/Muddy Buddies?   Fancy names for chex coated in a delicious mix of melted butter, chocolate, peanut butter and powdered sugar?  Its not something that we have a lot of, but some times I just get a craving for it.  So when I was trying to decide on the menu for this weekend, my eye caught the bagged version of these guys and opted to make my own version instead.  Turns out, i’m not the only one thinking that exact same thought! I followed this recipe for a vegan friendly version.


They were the absolute hit of the weekend.  I caught the mister with his hand in the freezer to sneak a few more than once.   I’d say that absolutely screams success.   It must be a family trait, because his parents couldn’t keep away either 😉

We ended the weekend on the perfect note.  An early morning jaunt through our local farmers market and some flowers ‘specially for me :), followed by a homemade brunch.  I took pity on our guests and had scrambled eggs on the menu, but also served up an insanely delish recipe for Vegan hash, from once again, you guessed it – Veganomicon.  I swear, I’m going to make each recipe from that cookbook from cover to cover.   Although I had a secret ingredient that I think really iced this dish.   Its a fairly simple combo of potatoes (they call for blue, sadly, I couldn’t find any, so golden had to do), onion and tempeh and a simple sprinkling of spices.  One of their suggestions is to add some fennel seed to give it a sausage-esque flavor.  Somehow or other, I ended up with some Italian sausage seasoning from http://www.penzeys.com/ this past Christmas.  This is the first recipe I’ve broken it out for, but man was it worth the wait.  Oh MAN was it ever.  You can’t even imagine the proud mama look I got, when I saw Brandon take a bite from his plate, then grab for the serving spoon to replace that bite  with an even larger scoop.  Even though I love to create dishes that I think taste great and are healthy, my favorite part is knowing that someone else loves it too.


There was some serious deliciousness going on this weekend, h ow about you?



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