Recently we had a house party for my boyfriend’s birthday. I made an array of hot h’orrorduerves. The table was filled with many delicious vegan dishes such as loaded nachos, complete with nacho sauce, guacamole, salsa and sour cream. Cauliflower BBQ sauce wings, spring rolls, blue cheese dip, spicy sweet chili pepper sauce, cheese ball with chives, veggies, dips, hummus, cupcakes… all homemade. Did I mention… all vegan?
The one thing that caught everyone’s attention was the Cauliflower BBQ sauce wings. Everyone thought they were actual non-vegan wings. Even after I let them know they were not, they still tried them. Loved them. You know that you were successful when everything was gobbled up. All of the homemade food was gone, platters cleaned off, with the exception of some dredges of sauce and a wee bit of the cheeseball.
Quite often I am asked for the recipes for the dishes I make. Either by those who have eaten them or by those who have viewed pictures on my Instagram account. I do often use recipe books or recipes from the YouTube channels or blogs I am subscribed to. More often than naught, I do make things by just tossing ingredients together. This is a skill I learned from my Grandma Betty. A skill that can frustrate others, when you describe a recipe as a handful of that and a pinch of this. It’s definitely time to start writing these things down.
Similar to knitting, I learned to cook when I was ten. Partly out of necessity (to help out my working parents), partly because I loved to experiment with food and cooking was the ultimate experiment. I have always loved cooking and creating recipes. The end results may not always be what was expected and it’s true that our failures, even in the kitchen, teach us to be better at what we are attempting to learn or create.
I was blessed to have two Grandmothers who were amazing cooks. I learned different skills from both of them. Their passion for cooking and baking also became my passion. I learned how to bake bread, tarts, shortbread and pies. I got to watch them smile as they rolled out dough or kneaded bread. Every once in awhile I still get a waft of baking bread and nostalgia.
A few years ago my Aunt Margie copied Grandma Betty’s cookbook and my mom gave me a copy of Grandma Carrie’s recipes. Over time I have been converting them to Vegan recipes. I think it is time to start sharing these recipes.
As I mentioned above, In the beginning, I didn’t have cookbooks to guide me along. I learned how to cook by watching how others cooked. This was pre-YouTube, pre-internet. I KNOW. A time BEFORE the internet! Once I learned the basics, I needed to know more, I wanted to expand my knowledge. This is when cookbooks came into my life. Very often, I would borrow cookbooks from the library. Eventually, I started receiving cookbooks for gifts and then began my collection. A collection that continues to grow.
When I was a child, I grew up in an omnivore household. As a teen, I started to experiment with being a vegetarian and became a full vegetarian when I move out at the age of eighteen. Eventually, I became Vegan. When I did, I purged my cookbooks. I didn’t give them all away and if you looked at my collection, you will still see non-Vegan cookbooks. I still use those cookbooks… and convert recipes to Vegan ones. I have the Betty Crocker Cookbook my mom gave to me when I was a teenager. I also love to collect vintage cookbooks. These can often be vegan recipe conversion inspiration.
My personal style has usually been a horror-themed dinner party menus. The last few parties we’ve hosted have been less on the ghoulish side and I think I need to get back to being more of the horrific hostess. In my collection of cookbooks, I have horror themed or dark themed cookbooks. My next food related blog post will be of that theme. I have also started a food-related blog. You will find all of my future food-related posts at www.notvegannowvegan.wordpress.com.
Recent Dinner Party Recipes:
Bbq Cauliflower Wings and dip recipe – http://www.hotforfoodblog.com/recipes/2014/2/11/cauliflower-buffalo-wings
Sweet Chili Sauce recipe (one of those toss items together and see what happens)
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 1 garlic (minced)
- 2 -3 red chili pepper or tsp of chili flakes
- 1.5 tbsp sugar
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp cornstarch + 1.5 tsp water
In a saucepan add water and sugar. Heat and stir till sugar is dissolved.
Add garlic and chili pepper or flakes.
Add cornstarch mixture and stir till thick.
As it cools down it will get thicker.
These are some of the YouTube Channels I watch. It is a beautiful mix of healthy and how to make Vegan junk food. For those of my readers who are from Toronto, I will note which ones are from Toronto (easier for getting supplies).
Hot For Food (Toronto)
It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken (Toronto)
The Edgy Veg (Toronto)
Buddhist Chef (Montreal)
Those Annoying Vegans (the first half of the video is the recipe, second half is about Veganism)
Cooking with Plants
Deliciously Ella — (also she’s got a cute British accent)
Raw Food Not Gross (she isn’t just raw food/she is super kooky and fun)
and here as well, though her own channel is way more fun
The Vegan Zombie (because Zombies)
Vegan Black Metal Chef (because fun)
Be Healthy Be Happy
Sian Brown (A very talented musician)
Cheap Lazy Vegan (Canadian)
Nikki Limo’s Tasty Tuesday’s
High Carb Hannah
Sweet Potato Soul
Websites and bloggers (most of these sites you can also subscribe to their newsletters):
Thug Kitchen — www.thugkitchen.com
Minimalist Baker — http://minimalistbaker.com/
It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken (her website has a tonne of recipes, she only does videos once in awhile — http://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/
Chocolate Covered Katie — (her brownies are to die for) http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/
Mary’s Test Kitchen — http://www.marystestkitchen.com
Pickles ‘n Honey — www.picklesnhoney.com
Avocados and Ales — https://avocadosandales.com/
Oh She Glows — http://ohsheglows.com/
Vegan Richa — www.veganricha.com
Fried Dandelions — http://www.frieddandelions.com/
I’m also on Pinterest and have many recipe boards. In case you needed the extra inspiration. https://www.pinterest.com/lizzieviolet/