November Foods 2011

Instead of a bunch of separate food posts, here's a round up of recipes we tried and enjoyed this fall.

First up: Vegan Broccoli Cheese Pasta Bake from Daily Garnish.

It's amazing how blended tofu turns into a creamy sauce for this dish. You can use pretty much any shaped pasta and whatever green veggies you had on hand, though broccoli works extremely well. Our only complaint was that this didn't reheat very well the next day. The tofu on the pasta gets kind of hard, even though it was totally creamy the first time. But if you're feeding a large group, I would recommend it.

Next: Sweet Potato and Rosemary Soup from Giada (Food Network).

My friend Katie sent me the recipe for this and I knew we'd both love it. It's basically a lot of sweet potato and broth, but then you mix in marscapone and it turns into magic. I think subbing almond milk and some Earth Balance would be a good way to make this vegan, and I almost tried it (but then I wanted to buy the cheese, so...you know what happened). We will definitely make it again.


Numero 3: Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows from the PPK.

These. are. amazing. I made them for a get together at Bryn and Djillian's house, and they were gone well before I left. I think next time I would make them a little smaller, since some of them were quite large. They are only slightly more involved than a regular cookie, in that you have to roll the peanut butter part into balls and then cover it with the chocolate to make one giant ball, but really, it's pretty fool proof. I'm looking for another excuse to make them because, seriously, these are the best cookies I've made all year.

Four: Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

This recipe isn't on the PPK site, though they do have three other cupcakes up there. I suspect that if you google it, you could find the real thing. They have corn flour and almond meal in them and it gives them a little bit of a gritty texture. The cayenne pepper also gives them a little kick - nothing strong, just a bit - because apparently that's what Mexican hot chocolate tastes like. I've made a couple other recipes from this book, but these are by far my favorite.

Cinque: (Vegan) Pumpkin Pie Brownies, also from the PPK.

I baked these a little longer than the directions called for, and I'm not sure if it made a difference. The final direction is to chill them for an hour and a half before serving, and at that point the pumpkin layer on top was fully set and DELICIOUS. I love these brownies! One of the taste testers said that they have the consistency of a cheese cake. I kind of went on dessert overkill last week, so I froze individual servings of these brownies. I'm optimistic that they will still be good after being frozen.

Six: Mashed Potatoes with Sage and Rosemary and White Gravy from Daily Garnish.

Not a dessert, but I did serve these and the brownies along with a few other items on American Thanksgiving. We had a couple friends over for a casual meal and these potatoes were a hit. They have mashed apples in them that add the perfect amount of sweetness. We will probably make them again at Christmas!

And finally, chocolate dipped shortbread cookies.

This recipe is from the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook and I first made it the day after we got El Mixo 3000 from Costco (we've been through so much since then, El Mixolito!). Unfortunately I baked them a few minutes too long and they were a little brown. Normally this wouldn't stop me from eating them or giving them away, but they were for a church fundraiser, and they're supposed to look nice so people will buy them. So I did what anyone would do - combine a little melted chocolate with a little milk, dip 'em, and cover them with Christmas cheer. Done and done. I think they sold well!

That's that for fall foods. I'm so proud that this list even includes two non-dessert recipes. It's that time of year again. I have lots more Christmas stuff to write about. In the mean time, it's after December 1st, so crank up the volume on the Christmas music!

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