The Great CriFSMas Food Roundup!

January 24th, 2012 3:50 pm by Kelly Garbato

Sure, so maybe the holidays are, like, SO LAST MONTH. But my house is still dressed to party, and besides, better late than never! Vegan foods never go out of style, yo.

Let me begin by saying that I didn’t do nearly as much baking this year as last. With the exception of some cookies for our neighbors, I didn’t make any gifts by hand. Mostly ’cause I was pressed for time, but also because I’m still trying to work off the ten pounds I gained by “taste testing” 2010’s handmade presents.

Instead I hit up Vegan Etsy: an assortment of vegan candies from NoWhey for my grandma Arnie; SuperFoxySweets vegan chocolate truffles for my grandma Vita; and a PB lover’s sampler box, along with peppermint patties, extra peanut butter cups, and a pumpkin roll (all from Sweet Vegan Delight) for my mum – all for less than $150! SUCH A STEAL!

Elsewhere on the internets, a box o’ vegan wine for my aunt Cindy and her BFF Hank (from Clos LaChance Winery, though I don’t see any vegan options at the moment) and a Ron Swanson mug for Shane.

2011-12-23 - Shane's Gift - 0008

2011-12-23 - Shane's Gift - 0009

“Just give me all the bacon and eggs you have. Wait … wait. I worry what you just heard was: Give me a lot of bacon and eggs. What I said was: Give me all the bacon and eggs you have. Do you understand?
——————————

(From Peachy Apricot on etsy, in case you want one for your own bad self.)

My sister Meesh was easy; her only wish was more fruit leather, so I sent her a few pounds of the stuff. (We have a huge container in the freezer. Great for distracting Ralphie from his allergy shots!)

My brother-in-law sent us a basket of vegan goodies from Marge’s Bakery in Northridge, CA. It’s not an exclusively vegan establishment, but it has a decent number of vegan options relative to its non-vegan offerings.

2011-12-20 - Treats from Marge's Bakery - 0006

The basket included four varieties of cookies: California Snowballs (melt-in-your mouth good!), Kiss of Lemon (thin and crispy and very lemon-y; my least favorite of the bunch), Ginger Snaps (soft, chewy, and surprisingly delicious, since I’m usually lukewarm on these) and Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies (crunchy, like most store-bought cookies, and super-delish – but also quite small). They were devoured in less than a week.

Also present: two loaves of sweet bread. Namely, zucchini bread and carrot cake. (The latter is technically a cake, I guess, but it had the look and feel of a sweet bread to me. It was remarkable similar in texture and sweetness to the zucchini bread, in any case.)

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The zucchini bread was at least as good as my own recipe, but not necessarily better. Sweet but not sickeningly so. I especially loved the sweet glaze on top of the bread, which added that little extra something to the bread. (Note to self: you simply must find that recipe!)

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The highlight of the carrot cake was most def the frosting, which was delightfully spicy (Not in a hot way! I detected hints of Pumpkin Spice – but then my palate’s not all that sophisticated, so who knows?) and stood a good inch in height. Maybe this is what transforms a humble carrot loaf into a cake? Either way, NOM.

Overall, everything was delicious, though a bit on the small side. After going on a vegan baked goods shopping spree on etsy, I couldn’t help but think that we should have gotten more treats for the price. That is, if the Amazon listing is any indication of what he actually paid. But hey, I’m frugal.

Okay, now on to the Garbato-Brady kitchen! First up is the tin o’ cookies I made for our omni neighbors.

2011-12-22 - Tin O' Vegan Cookies - 0007

Clockwise from twelve o’clock you see:

  • Thin Mints – Delicious and not that difficult to make! (The multiple steps are more tedious than they are challenging.) I used the recipe from Kelly Peloza’s The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, but there are a number of vegan versions available online. Because of their chocolate outer shell, these are best stored in the fridge – and they also keep well over time. If you’re thinking of shipping cookies, these are a relatively safe bet!

  • Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies – One of my favorite recipes, from the PPK. With almond extract, because it’s awesome.; and
  • Bourbon Balls – No-bake recipe via spabettie. As with the Thin Mints, these keep well in the fridge, so you can make ’em in advance. Here’s a tip: crush and mix everything in a food processor, it’s much easier than stirring everything by hand. When the dough’s done it will pull away from the blade and settle against the bowl. Bonus: fewer dishes!

And across-section of the thin mint:

2011-12-23 - Vegan Thin Mints - 0010

I wasn’t sure how many cookies it’d take to fill a tin to nearly overflowing, so I made a batch of each. I only used about 75% of them, and we kept the leftovers for our own, so score! Between these and the goodies from Josh, we were set on dessert for the week.

As for main courses, on x-mas we opted to make a tater tot casserole in place of our usual, Flying Spaghetti Monster themed lasagna. No real reason, except we had baked penne the week before and were burned out on pasta. (File that one under “bad timing.”)

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As usual, we used Snarky Vegan’s super-awesome recipe. It is delicious and unhealthy and loaded with carbs – perfect holiday eats, in other words. As an added bonus, it will knock you on your ass by 9PM – great for those times when you’re dining with annoying extended family. “Excuse me while I go lapse into a carb coma, mkay?”

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For dessert: carrot cake

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and a glass of So Delicious Coconut Milk Nog – easily the thickest, sweetest, yummiest of the vegan nogs on the market. I almost wish they made this stuff year-round, but I’m, not sure my blood could handle all that extra sugar.

fwiw, one way to extend your coconut nog pleasure is to transform some of it into ice cream. Christmas in July, holla!

2011-12-24 - Coconut Nog Sorbet - 0024

So Delicious’s coconut milk nog is so incredibly thick and rich that I thought it might make for a pretty yummy ice cream, even if dumped directly into an ice cream maker. Alas, it must be more watery than I realized, because the finished product has the consistency of sorbet vs. ice cream. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still delicious, you just have to leave it on the counter to thaw a bit before helping yourself to a scoop!

I haven’t given up on turning this into ice cream though! Next time I think I’ll try cooking the liquid down a bit and/or adding some arrowroot powder. Thoughts?

This is also a nice way to use up soon-to-expire coconut milk nog. (Ditto: Silk Pumpkin Spice, Nog, and Chocolate Mint.)

We did eventually have our lasagna, but for New Year’s Eve instead of x-mas.

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I didn’t follow it – at least not consciously, anyway – but I think this is the same basic recipe I posted last year. Try it, it’s yummy and festive!

Of course, we also enjoyed a fair share of pizzas over the holiday break, but they deserve their own post, dontchathink? Such a tease, I am.

While you’re waiting, why not make your own pizza pie and enter it in my Vegan Pizza Day That Was Giveaway? Open ’til next Monday afternoon. You KNOW you’re gonna eat a pizza between now and then anyways!

Update, 4/9/12: Due to a recent negative experience on the site, I’m afraid that I can no longer recommend etsy to my friends, family, and readers (and ESPECIALLY not for expensive and/or custom orders!). While the majority of transactions do go smoothly, don’t expect any help from etsy’s customer service on those rare occasions when you have a problem with a seller. Seriously, they were a nightmare to work with – worse even than the seller who never delivered on my custom order, even after six months of haggling.

That said, I still love and support the many vegan storefronts on etsy, and will continue patronizing those that have a presence elsewhere on the web.

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2 Responses to “The Great CriFSMas Food Roundup!”

  1. SnarkyVegan Says:

    Aren’t those chocolate chocolate chip PPK cookies THE BEST?! I first tried those years ago and they are my preferred chocolate chip cookie recipe.

    And thanks for the idea to create a Flying Spaghetti Monster lasagna for xmas! I never thought of that. Great idea! Will do it next year for sure. Won’t the MIL be pissed, ha!

    Thanks also for mentioning my tater tot recipe ;-P

  2. Celebrate the holidays year-round with this Coconut Milk Nog Ice Cream! » V for Vegan: easyVegan.info Says:

    […] first attempt, you might recall, resulted in a sorbet-like concoction. Assuming that the nog was thick enough as is, I just dumped a chilled quart of the stuff into my […]

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