Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holiday Roundup

With the cookbook(s) done and the trip back home for the holidays done, I finally have some time to blog again! No real recipes in this post, I am sorry to say, just a tour of some of the gastronomic holiday highlights.

First up, birthday cake (sort of). If you have been reading this blog for a while you know that I decorate a cake however the birthday boy wants for his special day. This year, under the influence of the Christmas cards arriving daily at our door, Son #1 requested a gingerbread house. Vegan Mom and I thought it would be a good idea to let each kid at the party decorate his own house, so I made these four houses (thankfully, Son #1 only had one friend over for a sleep-over party, plus his two brothers). I used the same recipes as last year, except I tried something new for the icing to hold the houses together. I heated 1/3 cup of light corn syrup in a small pan, then added enough icing sugar to form a thick paste. I let it cool a bit, then rolled strips of it in my hands to create a mortar-like substance. It held really well.
For Christmas dinner with my in-laws I made the roast from Everyday Dish. No pic, I am sorry to say. I found the whole thing rather disappointing--bland and tough. For Christmas with my parents I made seitan cutlets cooked in apples, apple juice, roasted chestnuts, dried cranberries, and thyme. The recipe was rather like this one, and was very tasty.
Here is an apple frangipane tart that my sister-in-law made. My plan is to veganize this puppy in the near future, so stay tuned for that.
Other dishes in the recent past that were simple and tasty but not novel enough to warrant their own post: red peppers, onions, garlic and seitan chunks (could be tofu), and rotini tossed in olive oil, nooch, and plenty of basil.
Rice vermicelli, tofu, and bok choy in and orange ginger sauce. Kind of like this recipe.