‘Slightly fancy’ here means I’ve broken out the old china, properly cleared the table and planned a bit of a menu for a special guest. Today’s special guest was my sister who came over so Husband could fix her phone. That was the special occassion. Yep, any reason to get the slightly-fancy on in the haus of Veganopoulous.
Usually I have a fair bit of anxiety when it comes to cooking for anyone not in the immediate family. My shoebox kitchen doesn’t help matters. Anxiety about cooking for others kinda sucks when you love to cook. But hey, I’ve come a long way from my teenage sweet and sour Asian macaroni piece de resistance and the truly disgusting ricotta tortellini salad that was simply dressed with sesame oil (thank YOU, awful 90s Womens Weekly cookbook. Or was it Family Circle?).
My sister and I like the same foods so I decided to put together a hearty main meal of veg and chickpeas, a few veg sides, a simple garden salad and a slice for dessert with tea. Plus a coconut cake, because I couldn’t choose between a slice and a cake so I made both. Because I can! I did briefly consider a tofu dish but decided this was enough if we were going to have tea and more than one piece of cake…
I collect old china by companies like Johnson Brothers, Meakin and Grindley. And clearly, I don’t like to iron or properly co-ordinate a table setting:
I asked DeeW to prepare a centrepiece:
The main part of the meal was the Pumpkin and Chickpea Salad recently featured on Where’s The Beef? I used half butternut pumpkin and half sweet potato. This was simple and very tasty. My sister says it would make a great lunch to take to work:
One side dish was the Lemon Dijon Green Beans from Dreena Burton’s Let Them Eat Vegan!:
I also made some potatoes that were sprinkled with lemon juice, garlic and sumac. Which turned the potatoes pink:
I roasted some cauliflower, using Dreena Burton’s recipe for Almond Roasted Cauliflower from Let Them Eat Vegan! but I was out of almonds (yeah, noticed that after I started preparing the cauli) so it was walnut roasted instead:
The garden salad was a simple green leaf mix, toasted pecans with a vinaigrette made with EVOO, pomegranate molasses, garlic and lemon juice:
Everything ready to go:
The slice was Hedgehog, which I haven’t made in many many years. I used the recipe from Veganise This! which was adapted from Green Gourmet Giraffe’s recipe. I had eaten some biscuits from the packet of Arnotts Nice before I knew I’d be making this recipe so yeah… could have done with about five more biscuits here and a smaller tin:
And the cake was another Dreena B. recipe: the Coconut Cake from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan! with the Creamy Vanilla Frosting on top. I love this cake. In place of almond extract for the cake and frosting, I used a tiny bit of coconut essence (I really need to buy the good stuff). This cake was renamed by Husband to Sunken Cake. And then Caldera Cake. Obviously I went wrong somewhere cos yeah, it really sunk in the middle:
You know those moments when you’re really stuffed but you’re still thinking about going back to the fridge for the last piece of cake? Yes, that. I’m resisting the urge though so I’ll go and make another pot of tea for myself instead 🙂