livin' vegan in sunny atlanta

Tag Archives: thanksgiving 2011

hey folks! Nate & I are celebrating our three year anniversary with a little getaway, but before I tell you all about that I want to share the Thanksgiving magic!

You probably already know that instead of offering a meal delivery Thanksgiving week, I made up a special a la carte casserole menu. I spent Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday prepping and cooking orders. Here are a few shots of some of the food that went out:

Cutting and dusting marshmallows for sweet potato souffles. They were created with Angel Food Alice’s marshmallow mix. It’s the least-tricky way to make marshmallows that still requires a fair amount of care, and I recommend you buy several packs immediately.

Emanuella’s nut-free souffle.

My first attempt at a seitan-based tofurkey came out looking beautiful but with the texture of an old shoe. Dousing cut pieces with a little water and reheating in the microwave under a damp paper towel restored some moisture – steaming would have worked, too. Unwilling to serve this to paying company, I tried another recipe with resounding success. Behold, the log:

Stuffed with fat-free stuffing (per Brett’s family request), steamed and baked, VeganDad’s recipe is a solid one. If you try it, though, be sure to modify the seasonings – his recipe is very mild. I modified the recipe to become no-added-fat by substituting two tablespoons of mushroom stock for the oil.

Local pot-roasted vegetables for Lillian.

Fancy-schmancy “goat”-style log for ever-classy Brett’s family. Would you believe this little fella took over 24 hours? I wrapped it up in parchment and secured it with pretty brown ribbon, repurposed from a delicious box of Lagusta’s Luscious bonbons.

A yukon-gold-topped shepherd’s pie for Shannon.

and desserts: sweet potato cake studded and topped with roasted chestnut and miso caramel; “sweet potato souffle” – sweet potato cake with chestnut pieces and topped with homemade marshmallow. I also made several dozen mini chocolate kandaicakes.

Pecan-topped sweet potato souffle, with some of my kitchen staff looking on.

Lillian was thrilled to pick up her giant order! I love cooking for Lillian because she adores even my mistakes. Case in point: I had to ditch a pan of sweet potato cakes when they wouldn’t release. I mashed ’em up, layered ’em with miso caramel, called it a trifle, and gave it to Lillian. She was so pleased!

I am so grateful to everyone who picked up Thanksgiving food this year. Not only did the sales make my three-year anniversary trip with Nate possible, but it was just such an honor to be invited into your homes at such an important meal and special time of year. Seriously, I still get goosebumps thinking about how awesome that is. I hope it lived up to your expectations!

After a few extra-long days, Nate and I were happy to sit down to our own Thanksgiving eve feast.

The seitan shoe with creamy mashed potatoes.

Carr’s wheat crackers with spreadable “brie” in the background.

My momma’s (and Nate’s) favorite butterbeans.

Our gorgeous sweet potato souffle.

Closer, m’dear…

Our green bean casserole. Thanks, Trader Joe’s, for frying the onions so that I didn’t have to saturate every inch of fabric in my apartment with the smell of fried onions.

Nate’s abundant plate! From the top: Carr’s crackers with brie, mashed potatoes, sweet poatto souffle, cranberry hunk, butterbeans, green bean casserole, dressing, and the seitan shoe.

One of the best parts of Thanksgiving day was finally getting to meet my little niece Bear. I like this picture because it looks like Nate & Bear are sharing a laugh.

Little Bear puppy face.

A fun picture of my brother, Bear, and me.

Y’all know I’m a crazy cat lady, but Thanksgiving turned out to be a puppy day. Later, at my Uncle Reuben’s, I held his partner’s little chihuahua. Until then, I had never so much as touched such a small dog… hence the face.

She was fun to cuddle.

How you know it’s love: after a long day of cookin’, cleanin’, and family visitin’, I returned to Atlanta to make Nate’s childhood favorite, creamed onions. Y’all: creamed onions is not a southern thing. We do not boil pearl onions, smother them in gravy, and then serve them as a holiday side. Twas a mystery to me when Nate mentioned them. So I did a little internet searchin’ and decided on an amalgam of a few recipes. The cream sauce is just a gravy made with earth balance, flour, and a whole lot of mimiccreme – then thinned out and seasoned with salt, pepper, and a bit of freshly-shaved nutmeg. Not bad for a first try!