With a strict schedule of cooking and cleaning we managed to tidy up the T-House and prepare enough food for an open house on a sunny Saturday.
Table, laden, groaning.
I cooked a variety of foods and supplemented them with plenty of Ninja Vegan goods, viz: Skittles, Allen's jellybeans, Arnott's Jam Tart biscuits, Arnott's Nice biscuits, Oreos, Coles salt'n'vinegar and BBQ chips, Turkish Delight and mini spring rolls.
My beetroot dip.
Handmade with love were: hummus from Veganomicon and my own beetroot, tofu and sweet basil dip on veggie platters; a fruit, nut and dried fruit platter; Cindy and Michael's vegan sausage rolls; gluten-free rice paper rolls; peanut butter blondie from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar; and two types of chocolate peanut butter balls from VCIYCJ and me.
Peanut butter blondies from VCIYCJ.
The PB blondies were enough to make you cry. I was very chuffed when my friend Miss Carly, baker extraordinaire and foodie supreme, asked me for the recipe. You'll note that they are in crumbly pieces in a bowl. Despite my efforts to pretend that this was how they were meant to be, donchaknow, the fact was that I was too impatient to let them cool properly after baking them and started trying to cut them while they were hot. So I could eat them. Let this be a lesson to you, Greedyguts.
Above in the foreground are some of the chocolate peanut butter balls from VCIYCJ. These are an adpation of a recipe that I first tried when Caroline made them for a potluck, and I immediately set about making my own. I found a recipe, and through trial and error made my own notations to the original recipe. In the renovations I lost my recipe, which absolutely galls me.
When I first bought VCIYCJ I was thrilled to see a take on the Choc PB Balls. I made a batch following the recipe exactly, but found it much too oily (1/4 cup of canola). In fact, not only were my hands covered in oil after kneading the dough, but the dough wasn't stable enough to roll, squash and wrap around the PB filling. Reducing the PB filling enough to allow the chocolate dough to enclose it left me with half the PB filling left, so I made up my own dough and held a bakeoff with myself (you can see the Choc PB Balls that I made in the blurry background below). On the whole, I still preferred the VCIYCJ version (although Clag was kind enough to give mine a win), as they were chocolat-ier and mine, although much easier to make, were a bit plainer and doughier. Next time I would halve the canola oil!
Cindy and Michael's vegan sausage rolls, served with sweet chilli sauce and Fountain Tomato & Onion Sauce - which as far as I can tell is only available in the Balnarring IGA. I've looked all over Melbourne, so last time we were in Balnarring we came home with five bottles. Yup.
I can't tell you how many people have been infected with the obsession that invades the mind after eating those sausy rolls. I have been sending links to the recipe left right and centre, mostly to omnis (ahahaha!) and even though I must say that Buzz and I are smugly pleased with our now-standard substiution of Orgran corn crispy crumbs for breadcrumbs, full and fawning credit must go to where's the beef for this unbelievable, lip-lickin', tongue-smackin' recipe. Snaps!
My rice paper rolls, with tofu fried off in tamari to make them gluten free. I had plain tamari and a chilli dark soy mix for dipping.
We had a lovely, happy afternoon with our friends and family, sitting in the warm sun with a cool drink and nattering. Thanks everyone!
Sam awaiting the guests at his party.