double dippin’: the party

Roughly 1/10th of total dips that arrived at Double Dippin’

Fueling my dorky, themed party planning obsession, I hosted a dip-themed potluck and party last weekend. Double Dippin’: The Party* featured 4 tables of dips: Sweet, Savoury, Miscellaneous, No Holds Barred, and Michele performing the grand & appetizing Vegan Mozzarella Stick-Off in the kitchen.

The record was successfully broken for just how many people can fit into my apartment, surely set high for the number of dips through the door, special dietary needs were met (vegans are so nice!), my cats hid, dip rules were posted, various research was displayed, and I had an opportunity to make a giant pot of beer cheese sauce, among other dippy dishes. Dipshit was officially an endearing term, dip creativity and classicism was off the hook, and I just can’t seem to get this out of my head.

As for the actual food, contributions ranged from traditional pesto to spicy peanut sauce to chili to Russian beet dip to cashew green bean to saucey bourbon to spiced cheesecake to sweet chocolate frosting, and beyond. Beyond!

Smokey Beer Cheese

beer cheese

How To: Smokey Beer Cheese. Follow the Cheesy Sauce recipe from Veganomicon.  Add a diced poblano pepper with the garlic (up the garlic!). After you add the nooch and vegetable broth, throw in cumin, hot paprika, tahini, hot sauce, a bottle of cherished, local microbrew, and a good dash of liquid smoke.  Simmer for at least 20 minutes before making your gluten-fanatic guests happy.

Green Tea, Shallot & Cream Cheese, modified from Eat Tea

Green Tea, Caper & Shallot Cream Cheese

I was more wild about the idea of this over the finished product, but it was worth a shot. And look! garnish!

Raw Banana Coconut Almond Dip

raw banana almond dip

On one hand, sampling this dip made me realize I’m non-officially, but likely, allergic to freaking almonds. On the other, it went over well! It consists of pureed raw almonds, unsweetened coconut and banana. Once again, a pat on the back to the Vita-Mix.

Salt-Free Black Bean, Lemon & Garlic Dip

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This was another contribution for the Eat to Live crowd. One of those few ingredient recipes from the internets. It was less creamy than I’d like, but I naturally blame myself, because I forgot the tahini. However, who cares about anything else when there’s a nice garnish?

Spicy Spinach Artichoke Dip with Nayonaise

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So creamy! I almost comprehend artichokes now.

Jeff’s Spicy Peanut Sauce

jeff's satay sauce

My friends Lucas and Jeff combined powers to offer a damn fine spread of fried tofu, peanut sauce and tofufffalo style hot sauce.

The Sweet table

Lauren plates my ode to our friend Bram – Peanut Butter Coconut Apple Pie (dip).

lauren at the sweets table

The Bar – featuring homemade Mixed Berry, Raspberry and Lavender Mango syrups. Plenty of makings for both cocktails and mocktails. My friend Emily contributed homemade Raspberry Ginger Shrub that was amazing!

The rest of the refreshments – including Michele’s sparkling punch

This was posted above the No-Holds-Barred dip-as-you-will tator tots & dips table

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Clearly the party was an ode to this.

No-Holds-Barred Table – early in the evening

Live action at the No-Holds-Barred table. I spy a spicy sesame cornmeal encrusted tofu dipper at the muffin tray, and churros and chocolate sauce in the back.

Jack & Simon: Bros and their tots – bonus special guest appearance by Portland’s own Pretzel Necklace!

The Savoury table at the pre-party

Stage 1: Dips

*Name Credit belongs to Lucas DeShazer. No surprise.

I didn’t take as many photos as I’d like, perhaps more of the dishes to come…

Next up in themed events coming this way I’m counting down to?  The Vegan Prom of Tomorrow and the second annual Fakin’ Fest!

Spicy Spinach Artichoke Dip with Nayonaise

Important Update: My sister has informed me that this is “Spin Dip”. Carry on.

Spicy Spinach Artichoke Dip with Nayonaise

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Hello, vegan specialty ingredient time!  This Spicy Spinach Artichoke Dip is absolutely a guilty pleasure of a party treat. At my recent Double Dippin’ party, it was one of the first things I noticed polished off! (because I was stoked to make more room for more dips!)

It’s a combination of veganization and pine nut and nooch alteration of every single other artichoke and/or spinach dip that exists on the internet. Extra credit to my sister Jenny for insisting I add sour cream. She’s a pro on matters of spinach meets artichoke – even if she did ask me the recipe for “dip” in the same conversation. What dip? “The dip you eat at parties”…that turned into a conversation about how the classic American dip is soup packet + sour cream + mayonnaise + cheese, etc – this vegan version is as close as I’ll ever get!

Anyway, prior to this, the only other time I can recall eating artichoke dip was at Georgetown Liquor Company with my friends Vijjy and KJ in Seattle, which rules (just remember to say VEGAN). So does their dip. And my Class of 2000 of NW club.

Onto the super cheesy, somewhat spicy, packed with spinach artichoke dip:

Spicy Spinach Artichoke Dip with Nayonaise

Ingredients:

  • 14 ounce jar of marinated artichokes, briefly rinsed
  • 4 ounce can of diced green chilies (I used one from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 cup of Nayonaise* or other vegan mayo
  • 1 cup of vegan parmesan (I used a blend of nutritional yeast and pine nuts)
  • 1-2 cups of fresh baby spinach
  • ½ cup of Tofutti Sour Cream or other vegan sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of miso (I used chickpea)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Optional: 1-2 cloves of garlic, because I simply can’t recall if I added them. It’s harder to imagine I didn’t.

Garnish: 2 tablespoons of pine nuts and a generous pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, added during the final 5 minutes of baking.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a casserole dish, such as an 8×4.
  2. Add all ingredients except for the spinach into a food processor.  Pulse a few times, until well mixed.
  3. Add a bunch of spinach and puree. Add another and do the same until you’re done.
  4. Spoon into the casserole dish and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and add garnishes, if using. Turn the heat to 425F and bake an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with dipping items, such as baguette slices. Go. Party.

Pre-Baked

pre-bake

The party slowly begins…hundreds of more dips arrived, seriously. This is just the primary Savoury table.

savoury

*Thanks Nasoya!!

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From The Urban Vegan: Sherry Infused Pate

This pate is from The Urban Vegan by Dynise Balcavage, a book I’m slowly but surely, making a regular resource in my kitchen.  It’s simple and sherry-tacular and fancy.

Sherry Infused Mushroom Pate

Urban Vegan: Sherry Pate

Additional pecans sprinkled on top.

Do you like savoury dips?  Do you like pecans, olive oil, and mushrooms?  Most importantly, do you love wine?  This could be the dip for you.  I brought it to a housewarming party this past weekend with seeded baguette for dipping, and it seemed to go over well!  It was my first vegan pate-makin’ experience.

Leta jazzed it up with some garlic salt, her condiment of choice.  A highly awesome touch.

Yellow Curry & Butternut Squash Hummus (or Sweet Potato)

Imagine if President Obama were vegan! He would look like this….

Political Hummus Creation and Image Credit: Sabra Hummus and Kirk Rademaker

Actually, I simply don’t have an accompanying photo for this recipe, and I googled “hummus monster” and the hummus John McCain turned up, and I went from there.

Onto the dip!

I first made this Yellow Curry &  Squash Hummus on a whim for a I LOVE 2002! party last month.  I was already making Smoked Paprika Hummus from The Urban Vegan, had more chickpeas, and beans dips are easy, inexpensive party food. You can go classic, or you can go creative.  My brain went…..remember a week or two ago when you made Yellow Curry Squash soup?  Let’s work with those flavors and add chickpeas!  You’re out of tahini anyway so use you have to use peanut butter.  And it happened.

I decided to make it again and play with the recipe for the refreshments table at my presentation on Local & Vegan Eating at the library recently because a) it’s fairly creative b) party food for a crowd! and c) hummus is SO vegan.  I easily subbed mashed sweet potato for the squash on round #2, since I had it on hand.

Yellow Curry & Butternut Squash (or Sweet Potato) Hummus

(aka what would happen if you pureed yellow curry with chickpeas)

Serves: Many!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of rinsed chickpeas (canned or cooked)
  • 1/2 peanut butter OR 1/4 cup tahini + 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1.5 cups roasted sweet squash (or sweet potato – roasted or canned)
  • 2 heaping teaspoons yellow curry paste (I use local Thai & True brand, also available from Food Fight! online)
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon – 1 tablespoon ginger (if you like more, use more)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Sambal Oelek or other heat source (crushed red pepper, hot sauce, etc.)
  • 1/4 water or coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup tamari (you can obviously sub soy sauce, but this keeps it gluten free)
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon agave or brown sugar
  • pinch of dried basil, or a few leaves of fresh basil
  • optional: 2 tablespoons flaked coconut (especially if you’re not using the coconut milk)
  • generous pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • dash paprika
  • Dipping instruments, such as pita bread, tortilla chips or crudites

Directions:

  1. Puree oil, chickpeas, peanut butter or tahini and peanuts, and garlic in a food processor or blender, until smooth.  Use a spatula to wipe down the sides a couple times.
  2. Add everything else, blend well!
  3. Transfer to serving bowl and garnish.

Garnish: Toasted sesame seeds, diced fresh basil

Garnish, if you’re not me: sliced green onions, cilantro

Remnants:
after: the food table

And one more thing - Crossant with chocolate chips from Back to Eden Bakery & Boutique =

Out of this World, Vegan Awesome.

Benjamin Linus Throws a Dinner Party

WARNING: IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN LOST OR ARE JUST STARTING, COME BACK ANOTHER TIME!  TREAD CAREFULLY.

Over the past year, I’ve picked up a new hobby – planning themed parties.

Technically, event panning falls in my area of collegiate expertise, ba da bum, which makes putting it to use delightful and hysterical.  Party planning is a project full of novelty, vegan menu planning, refreshments, and socializing – win!

I threw my first themed party last January.  No surprise that it was a premier party for the start of Season 5 of LOST.  I’ve been saying since Season 2, if I’m still entranced with the series as a whole after it ends, I will be getting the numbers tattooed!

This past weekend, I threw a party for the return of my much-missed friend Susie from college out of state.  She’s a serious Lostie, and fellow Ben fan, so the theme was Benjamin Linus Throws a Dinner Party. It was a day of marathon-LOST watching and Dharma rations that led into a mid-sized party (for my small apartment, at least!) of old and news fans alike, plus some female arm wrestling on my kitchen floor, Mikhail’s eyepatch, an empty jar, and leis.  The theme was obviously LOST, with a welcome to the Island/Tropical vibe.

Benjamin Linus Throws a Dinner Party, the pictures!

The TV Station and Bar.

Food Drop. Joanna <3 Hurley Ranch Dip = The Shit.

I’ve posted the menu below this. My favorites were the Ranch Dip and Susi – I mean, Sayid’s Shawarama Seitan.  Zomg, good. I hope they both type up the recipes! Cough cough.

The menu! I like displaying a menu because A) It makes me organized B) It’s adorable and C) It’s self-explanatory and can highlight special dietary needs.  Everything made it to the table, plus all the delicious additions friends brought – with the exception of the boar sausages I forgot hanging in the oven until past midnight.  No room for them anyway!

The Smoke Monster decided on Chocolate Chunk Mint Candy Cookies, since Susie likes the mint lentils so!

Hurley’s Garlic Mayo Gluten Free Pasta Salad in the back. Joanna and Susie walked me through my first pasta salad! It’s a Vegenaise-based dressing pureed with sautéed shallots and plenty of garlic, tossed with rice spirals, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, spinach and orange bell pepper.

Crockpot of Seitan Shawarma, crackers and some of Locke’s favorite trail snacks, including wasabi peas, banana chips and hot mango rosemary spiced almonds.  Desmond’s fondue somehow found room on the table eventually!

Side view of the bar, featuring Juliet’s Lonely Island Rum Punch and loads more, including Dharma vodka, MacCutcheon Whiskey and Dharma Lemon Lime soda.  The OJ is for Screwdrivers, Jack style. Sadly, I forgot to get a shot of my fridge full of Dharma Stout! I’ll make a point to add it, it’s that cool.

Some of my favorite Hostiles! In the Book Club Station. Yes, there was Carrie and a few others.

Even the cd player was in on the act! You. All. Everybody.

Make Your Own Kind of Music was played a few times, of course.

Susie, newly crowned Leader of the Others:

And just because it’s so awesome, here’s the cake Katie Jane made last year (and her photo):

Poorly labeled Dharma Booze:

The labels are from the Max Pictures’ website.  Thank you!

Thanks for observing our tv-geek-out! <3  jess sconed-hanso-linus.