October 31st, 2008

Icing Alternatives

I've been doing a lot of allergy testing lately and have learned of a sensitivity to sugar cane. I've found that most things can be substituted in baking but what about icing?! Is there any way to make icing without using icing sugar or other cane sugars? Are there other things to ice with that maybe I just haven't thought of?

allergen free Thanksgiving main dish?

I'm hosting a Thanksgiving dinner this year, and in addition to being vegan, it also needs to be wheat/gluten/corn/soy/peanut/almond/mushroom free (I'm not allergic to mushrooms, but one of my guestes absolutely loathes them)

I've poked around on the internets and haven't yet found anything where I've felt like 'THATS IT! THATS WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR!'

Other things we'll probably be having:
mashed potatoes
lentil gravy
biscuits
pumpkin or squash soup
some variety of sweet potato/yam something or other
some variety of stuffing (if you have great ideas for this, please pass them my way)
this fantastic black eyed pea/fennel dish
some sort of green (if you have a green bean casserole that doesn't have the things I'm allergic to in it, that would be rad! kale and asparagus have also been discussed)
cranberry sauce
raw pie

I'm considering something with a lentil pate, but I really do need more ideas for the main dish; I really don't want to just do a bunch of sides

Thanks for your help!

Gingerbread houses!

Forgive me for already thinking forward to the holidays! I usually start getting the Christmas itch by my birthday- which is next week...but I guess it's starting a bit earlier this year! ;)

The background is...I'd love to make/decorate gingerbread houses with my godson and my friend Dawn (his mother). Obviously, I want to enjoy our creations too- so they need to be vegan. My godson is not even 3, so he wouldn't even know the difference! ;)

The question is...are there any VEGAN pre-made gingerbread house kits? All the ones I've seen so far have eggs in them. =/ Vegan frosting is easy enough to come by- whether store bought or homemade. But the gingerbread house aspect is throwing me off a bit. Any recommendations from people who have done it successfully in the past?

Also, candy suggestions for the house itself would be great, too! I'm thinking of purchasing those chocolate lentils online, as well as perhaps some vegan gummy bears (I *think* my local natural foods store has some!), and the non-pareils that they sell at Trader Joe's. Any other suggestions?

Chorizo inspired veggie sausages

Myself and some of the Cafe Collective at Kebele are doing a special breakfast tomorrow. Our sausages are usually made using lentils and oats. One of the cooks wants to try making them chorizo-style. I was just wondering about flavourings, anything other than garlic, chillies and smoked paprika ... any other recomendations or even recipes (recently we've been cooking for around 40)?

Update:
One evening tinkering about in the Kebele kitchen and a few Dragon Stouts later the mix is made.

My colleague roasted a load of red peppers and about 8 bulbs of garlic, infused that with a load of smoked paprika, blended it and put it in with the usual mix.

I was tinkering away at making baked beans from scratch.

Thanks for all your help and support.

I'll report back on how the breakfast went.