Vegan potluck picnics with themes!!! On the weekend I went to a potluck with other veg*n bloggers-and-friends where the theme was Celebrity Chef. I dutifully went and borrowed some library books for research (Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, though I forgot to go pick up my reserve of a Margaret Fulton cookbook in time). Nothing really appealed to me. The theme was optional but my mind went straight to Adam Sobel, author of Street Vegan and famed Cinnamon Snail and all round groovy dude. And I thought BINGO because the Cinnamon Snail is known here on the other side of the world and I put Adam’s recipes in rock star category. Plus I always feel better about making recipes for others where I’ve made them before so I know how they’re supposed to turn out.
I’ve made the Maple Mustard Glazed breakfast seitan strips from Street Vegan before but changed it up a little this time to use tofu and make it gluten free. I also LOVE the milk recipes in Street Vegan and went for the Pistachio Clove Rosewater milk (cutting way down on the rosewater, cos I don’t like anything more than a subtle hint of it) and the Chamomile Pine Nut milk.
The food everyone brought along was great. Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe made a sourdough pizza with vegan mozarella, tamari chickpeas and some aquafaba chocolate macaroons (you can read more about her picnic recap here). Michael from Where’s The Beef? braved the ‘terrifying Paula Deen archives’ to bring us mini cheeseburger puffs (you can read Michael’s recap here). Steph from Vegan About Town made a Simple Rainbow Salad by Ian Parmenter. Other delicious foods included some corn (also wheat) tortillas stuffed with spicy goodness (the corn version fell apart but still tasted great), a casserole/stew with mushrooms and veg, rice paper rolls with a home made satay sauce, nori handrolls (a.k.a. vegan sushi rolls) and a pasta bake made by K and Toby from In The Mood For Noodles. There was a little more food when more people arrived but I’d put the camera away by then (and stuffed myself too much):
I went a bit silly with desserts though. We had some gluten free folk at the picnic and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make my Mousse Your Own Adventure Cake not only gluten free but also with different flavours. I used a packet mix mud cake, flavoured the mousse slightly with coconut essence and I used coconut cream on top with toasted shredded coconut. This cake is supposed to be made with a lighter cake, and the dense mud cake made it more fudgy. Fine by me though, it still tasted good!
I’ve had a packet of gluten free flour in the fridge for ages and figured I’d do something with it too. The Gooey Salted Caramel Pecan Turtle Bars from Street Vegan were perfect. Of course, I misread the recipe and thought it would make a small batch. Ah, no. It actually makes one bigass tray. I also had the fun of making a caramel that didn’t thicken and was pretty much a milky consistency. You’re supposed to pour the caramel over a cooked biscuit base (which I made gluten free). I had a brainwave and used a can of that new coconut condensed milk to thicken it all up. It was more a brainfart, because the condensed milk just melted and the mixture stayed runny, with the added bonus of a tonne more sugar and fat. So I added a heap of cornflour and fortunately it thickened well and turned out. Really sweet though!
I had told some people on the guest list that I would make a family recipe from my blog so I chose my Saraili. This was another near disaster because after defrosting my filo pastry (which was purchased from the freezer section), all the sheets were stuck together and would tear to bits when I tried separating them. This meant I had to move everything to a smaller pie dish rather than the big round tray it’s supposed to be cooked in, and luckily it all worked out in the end. The edges were a bit too dry though.
In the pic below (of the sweets), we have some awesome lemon curd tarts and blueberry tarts. Across is the pumpkin spice cheesecake made by Cindy from Where’s The Beef? using a Martha Stewart recipe. The tarts and cheesecake were great. Also shown are Johanna’s biscuits (more info on those on her recap!) and I had quite a few of them
I couldn’t face taking my cakes home and tried to palm them off to everyone. I did manage to take some home to give to my sister but I ate so much at the picnic that my mind started turning to juice fasts. Still, I’m looking forward to the next themed potluck!