The Hoover Doovers

The Hoover Doovers (Appetizers)

My My My! – the holiday season is upon us, as evidenced in all the TV and Radio ads, bustling salespeople and decorations and music at stores, the owners of which are hoping to sell their wares to one and to all. A plethora of flyers about street festivals and craft fairs come regularly in the mail and there are just too many to consider attending them all.

Childhood Memories of Mom

Childhood Memories of Mom

Me, Mom and Christmas

Me, Mom and Christmas

I do admit to loving Xmas and  all the pre-season folderol and sometimes even a corny Christmas movie or two. I remember, with great affection, my childhood Christmases when there was no extra money to go around. My mother, who was a genius at making something out of nothing, would fashion ornaments from tin foil (aluminum wrap, as it is called now) and pipe cleaners. Every stocking every year contained some Silly Putty, a kaleidoscope, some chocolate, a candy cane hooked onto the top and a clementine in the toe.

These were traditions we could count on from year to year and the joy we felt from these small, yet endearing offerings provided entertainment on Xmas morning before the breakfast and the oh so exciting gift opening. We always received something we needed as well as something fun. There were usually pyjamas or nightgowns sewn by Grandma Pardo who lived too far away to spend many Xmases with us, although I do remember traveling to Grandma and Grandpa’s home to visit with all the cousins and aunts and uncles. It was such a magical time for me. I was in love with the silver artificial tree that my grandmother adorned with blue lights and ornaments and to this day, I decorate the outside with blue, to remind me of the love of my grandparents and of days gone by.

Goody Filled Snack Board

Goody Filled Snack Board

Appetizers

Appetizers

When I was old enough to walk into town to do my own Christmas shopping, I would revel in the sound of the  snow crunching beneath my boots, Bing Crosby singing Silver Bells over the store loud speakers, all the while marveling at the lights, the bells and baubles and the gifts awaiting my perusal. I would spend so much time picking the perfect thing for those I loved, particularly my mom, who has always held a very special place in my heart.

Peanut Butter Balls

Peanut Butter and Coconut Balls

Muhammara

Muhammara

I carried on these traditions  with my own children and now enjoy sharing this love with my grandchildren. We buy less now, but still enjoy the decorations, the music, the baking and the food prep, boozy beverages for the adults and trips to the skating rink for some fun filled exercise. Anticipation fills the air as we count down the days while wishing all the while for snow to bring with it its own kind of magic. Sometimes the white flakes fall and stay and sometimes they don’t – luck of the draw, I guess.

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

Vegan Irish Cream

Plant Based Irish Cream

Since becoming vegan, I have worked at finding and developing old favorites into plant based fare for those I love. There have been some flops and some successes. Fruit cake, which is a family favorite for some, fits into the flop category. I have had success with making a pseudo cherry almond cake, even though the cherries sometimes sink to the bottom. Shortbread, a standard in my childhood home, works quite well with coconut oil, even though it can sometimes be a little flaky – better the shortbread than the cook. LOL! Some type of ginger and molasses cookie always spices up the dessert plate, and there are iced sugar cookies for Santa and the little ones.

Leftovers on the Dessert Table on

Leftovers on the Dessert Table

Mushroom Tarts and Jam and Peach Tarts

Mushroom Tarts and Jam Tarts

And what about the main fare, the savory dishes? I challenge myself every year to find the perfect and tasty plant based food for the guests at our annual Xmas Party. One staple is the baked beans that I make in a Crockpot. It is funny to me that people should like them so much because baked beans are just not my favorite. But people raved over them again this year and a Québecois friend who remembers his mother’s baked beans, took home a container as did a little one, who may not have any special memories of the “musical fruit”, but who finds them very tasty indeed.

Here are some of the foods and beverages that graced our table this year. I am a “make ahead and freeze or store kind of gal”, so most of these recipes and offerings will do just that.

Appetizers:

Vegan Snack Board

Cranberry and Thyme Vegan Cheese Ball

Fig and Olive Tapenade

Muhammara (Red Pepper Dip)

Main:

Orzo Pilaf

Mushroom and Chickpea Tart (I made individual tarts for ease of serving)

Baked Beans

Warm Quinoa Salad with Edamame and Tarragon  (Delicious served cold)

Dessert:

Shortbread

Christmas Pralines

Molasses Cookies  (…my personal favorite. I used oil instead of the plant based butter because of the palm oil issue)

Date Squares

Peanut Butter Coconut Balls (Extra special when drizzled with melted chocolate)

Beverages:

Appletini served in glasses with sugar and cinnamon coated rims (Store and serve in decorative bottles)

Baileys Irish Cream

We had so much fun. I do think that I like Appletinis far too much, but hey, it is once a year, so I guess that I am safe.  It is so good to get together with people we don’t see that often but love all the same, as well as those we do see often and family members who, of course, float my boat on any and every given day.
 

Annie’s Vegan View

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone. I wish you all a peaceful, safe and loving season of mirth and connection.

It has been quite the year and I look forward to more Animal Rights Advocacy with my friends and confreres in 2017!

Thank you to you all and see you on the flip-side.

May all beings be happy and free.

Anne

 

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6 thoughts on “Christmas and Plant Based Fare

  • December 20, 2016 at 7:29 pm
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    Fantastic page absolutely love it x

    Reply
    • December 21, 2016 at 7:26 am
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      Hi Steph,
      Welcome to my website and thank you for your kind comment. I am glad that you enjoy my offerings.
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • December 30, 2016 at 5:45 pm
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    What a fabulous compilation of recipes! I can’t wait to try these! Thank you!

    Reply
    • January 1, 2017 at 11:18 am
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      Hi Tannia,
      Thank you! there are a lot of amazing plant based chefs out there and I do love to try and feature their creations.
      Take care.
      Anne

      Reply
  • February 25, 2017 at 8:11 am
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    Hi Anne
    Sorry I didn’t leave a comment at Christmas but I did read it and thought all your offerings looked amazing. I wasn’t well and didn’t do much over the holidays. I always liked Baileys and will have to try your vegan recipe. Appletinis sound amazing too. I don’t think they would be in the fridge very long if I prepared all those bottles though!

    The quinoa salad and peanut butter and coconut balls look especially nice. Your food always looks so nicely presented in such pretty dishes. I did make your shortbread earlier in the year and it was delicious. I really like your recipes and am enjoying learning from you. I do so look forward to your stories which accompany them. Hope you had a lovely time this Christmas.

    Rachel

    Reply
  • February 25, 2017 at 10:10 am
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    Hi Rachel,

    I am always glad to hear from you when the stars align.

    We did have a nice Christmas. Thank you for asking.

    I am happy that you enjoyed the shortbread recipe. It is one of my favorites because it reminds me of my mom.

    I enjoyed cooking and baking before I became vegan, so this has been a natural transition for me, researching and trying new plant based fare.

    I have been collecting dishes for many years and now have more than I will ever need. Part of the fun of planning parties is deciding which dishes to use.

    I hope that you will be feeling better soon.

    Take care.
    Anne

    Reply

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